In the almost eight years of its life, P.P.M. has brought its readers many system and staking ideas. A selection of them was put together in The Cold Collection book and proved highly successful. We still, though, receive letters from readers asking about plans that were published years ago.

In this series, I have combed through the early P.P.M's and found a number of betting ideas that deserve fresh evaluation. Let's begin firstly with a look at staking. As we have stated repeatedly in P.P.M., even the cleverest punters will not win unless they manage their money properly. It is a most difficult task, and seasoned punters are not immune from poor staking habits.

There is much to be said for adopting a strict betting procedure - and remaining with it through thick and thin, if you believe that ultimately you will benefit from its application.

In November, 1985, we talked about betting horses with a 3/1 price as the basis. The thinking went along the lines of backing a winner at 3/1 every 10 bets - not such a hard task. To tie in with this, a staking plan was introduced as follows:

1 14 (win 3)
2 14 (win 3)
3 2 8 (win 4)
4 28 (win 2)
5 312 (win 3)
6 4 16 (win 3)
7 5 20 (win 2)
8 7 28 (win 3)
9 9 36 (win 2)
10 12 48 (win 2)

This is an incredibly conservative plan, based on the assumption that when we get one winner in 10 bets at 3/1 we must make at least two units profit. Start the sequence again when you get a 3/1 (or better) winner.

We said in 1985: "While that may not look like a fortune to you, it is designed to be very safe. You can go ahead and bet in other ways if you like but to make a minimum of 2 units profit on a maximum 48 unit outlay is the equivalent of between 4 and 5 per cent on turnover, and that's our minimum. For all we know, your betting selections could provide three or four winners per 10 bets."

A most interesting system, by the mighty Statsman, was contained in this same issue of P.P.M. It bears thinking bout all these years later; in fact, Statsman tells me that he has received considerable correspondence from readers about this very system. Such was the interest that one reader, from Victoria, was writing to Statsman earlier this year to say he was still following the system, and making profits.

The rules are as follows:

  1. Ignore 2yo ore than one horse qualifies, you bet on the two horses that have dropped most in weight from their last racraces and Maiden races.
  2. Do not bet on any horse having its first run interstate (i.e. a horse switching from Melbourne to Sydney, etc.).
  3. To qualify for consideration a horse must have had its last run within 21 days of the current race.
  4. Consider only those horses which finished 1st or 2nd last start and which are dropping at least 2kg in weight. You consider only the weight that was allocated by the handicapper. Do not consider allowances for apprentices.
  5. When more than one horse qualifies, you bet on the two horses that have dropped most in weight from their last race.

When P.P.M. tested the system in 1985, it produced a number of longshot winners. The beauty of the system is that you don't have to spend too much time sorting out the selections. To kick off, just pick out those runners which finished 1st or 2nd last start; ignore all others. Then proceed through the rules.

It is a straight, automatic system and Statsman wrote at the time: "My advice is that you do not veer away from the rules unless you have made a detailed study on paper of any proposed changes.

"There is every reasonable possibility that you will be able to make some improvements but it is a wise practice to always have a 'dry run' first before dashing off to the local TAB."

Plan Of The Month for the November, 1985, issue also contained a highly promising system, involving winners over the track and distance. It's a plan limited to in-form horses at a fair price.

Click here to read Part 2.
Click here to read Part 3.

By Martin Dowling