It's the start of a new season again. A time to look back, and, more importantly, to look ahead.

We look back to analyse what we did right and what we did wrong. If possible, we don't want to make the same mistakes again. To be sensible we need to repeat what we did right.

Firstly, ask yourself a simple question: Do I actually have a betting bank? By that I mean the money you intend to invest week by week. If the answer's no, then get one. It may be $100 or $1000, but call it your bank and take notice of what you do with it.

If you are betting your whole bank every week, then you'll feel bad, or at least worse than the rest of us, if you strike a bad week. The pro punter will emphasise that you should never use more than 2 per cent of your bank per meeting.

In fact, I think that '2 per cent' can be the solution to your woes, and the key to unlocking a profit for the year. It won't be easy and much will depend on your selections, and your betting skills. But it can be done.

No horse, I believe, is worth a bet of more than 2 per cent of your total bank.

As serious punters, we want to do very well over a period. A goodly period. A year is best, but at least six months. Any professional will recommend the same strategy.

I've drawn up a set of rules that you might like to consider as the framework underpinning for your betting in the new 2001-02 season. The rules are not set in concrete but I'm sure you'll find them helpful in keeping your betting under control.

All too often, the average punter tends to turn victory into defeat by poor money management, yet all it takes is a few little 'tricks' to get you out of the red and into the black.


  1. Make patience your No.1 virtue.
  2. Decide on the size of your bank.
  3. Never invest more than 2 per cent of your bank per meeting.
  4. Never invest more than I per cent on a single selection.
  5. Regard your money as 'sacred' and not giveaway 'betting money'.
  6. Know what you hope to get from racing. It may be a return on your bank which is twice the current bank rate of interest, and remember, it's tax-free.
  7. Keep a record of every bet you make, in as much detail as you can. No excuses, no secret little bets.
  8. Keep a record of all sundry expenses (formguides, papers, pens, notebooks, racetrack admissions and racebooks, etc.). These expenses must be deducted from your final betting outcome!
  9. Avoid being depressed, upset or angry at one or two losers, or even a lot of losers, that maybe you think were unlucky. There are always going to be instances when your luck is out and someone else's is in. Your turn will come.
  10. Stick to a plan. This does not necessarily mean a system, but at least you should have some sort of consistent approach to making your selections, whatever approach you use. Don't chop and change. We all know what happens when you do that.
  11. Never remove a page from your record book because you bet poorly and the results look damning. Leave it there as a constant reminder of where you went wrong. Pin it on the wall if you have to.
  12. Make as many notes in your record book as possible. Comment on your day's betting; refer to mistakes and to winning moves. Criticise yourself but don't forget to praise yourself, either.

I am being serious over these rules. I think you should be, too.

I feel they will hit home to so many readers of this magazine. You do really owe it to yourself to make your betting as bullet-proof as you can. It doesn't take much.

The list of rules I've given you here can be used, at least, for a kick-off point. You can add some of your own as well. Be your own psychologist if you must!

Remember that the future belongs to those who plan for it. The man who said that, the late and legendary Colin Hayes, certainly proved the point, didn't he?

By P.B. King