Sometimes, as you know, we come up with a simple plan that has a set of results. Sometimes we come up with a thought, a suggestion, an idea. That's what this page is all about, a two-way process between you and me, and some of my racing pals.

This month we are going to take a look at a way of saving some of the bacon. We will be bringing it all back home when we can, but at worst, we will try not to make a mess of the whole day's betting activities.

What brought this on? Well, at Rosehill recently, there I am having a deep and meaningful with a good friend, as to some of the really important things in life, and Stan the Man appears.

We call him Stan the Man because he actually lived for years on the Isle of Man - or at least he tells us that.

Stan is in a highly frustrated state. His records (and he keeps records, meticulously) show that he has been picking a winner here and there, but mainly they are placed horses. He is a win-only punter, and has never been attracted to place betting. More so since the advent of the TAB and its poor divvies, as he tells me regularly.

But he is backing a lot of placegetters, and I ask him if they are all losers in his records. They are indeed. Well, I ask, why aren't they rearranged so that they are part of a win plan?

Eh? How does a placed horse become part of a win plan?

By using a concept based on the good old British bet, the Round Robin, you can save the bacon and maybe bring it all back home sometimes at least.

The concept consists of every horse in the threesome you select being labelled as a winner. Then you also assume that it is a placegetter (that doesn't take a lot of creative thought!). Now, you say that if every horse you select will win, you really Ought to be using some sort of exotic plan to make the most of your amazing skills.

So you identify every horse as the start of a 1-unit win treble. ABC (all win) is the first treble, BCD (win) the next, CDE (win) the next, and so on. And you bet winning doubles, AB (win) and AC (win), BC (win), BD (win). And so forth. Every horse starts two win doubles and a win treble, but you also make another important assumption:

You assume your selection may NOT win, but will PLACE.

But you assume, as well, that one, or both, of your next two selections will win. So you bet A (place), B (win), C (win), a 2-unit treble. And you bet two doubles, A (place), B (win); and A (place), C (win).

You do the calculations at the rate of one per meeting, with one, two or three maximum selections for the day. No more. Too much to carry in the head otherwise.

One per meeting, remember. But that isn't the end of it all. You also bet A (place), B (place), C (place) all up for 7 units.

How does all this help?

You are now assuming that at worst all three in any treble will place. If one wins, you have the chance of converting it into a winning double or treble, and the extras of the various win-place combinations will be attractive back-ups.

Finally, there is the promise of a fair result if all three only manage to place. As to three losers on the trot, that can always happen, but you don't sit around waiting for some action, as every horse starts a new set of investments.

Every horse sees 14 units outlaid, so a reasonable day for an average punter, at a dollar a unit, is $14, $28 or $42.

Here's a hypothetical workout:

A places

B wins

C places

Then, every selection begins two win doubles and a win treble, so they are lost for A and C. They are active for B, with the win returns from B going onto C and D, and again onto C as part of the BCD win treble.

B loses the BC component when C places, and also loses the BCD bet, but the BD (win) bet lives on.

Every selection begins a placewin-win treble, which will be alive for none of our selections. A collects its place-win bet on AB, and its treble for the place on ABC.

B loses its place-win bets, but C is alive for D, and for E as well. Fourteen units are outlaid per race, and 50 per cent of them are on the place treble, the insurance investment.
In this example we only claimed one place-will double, and only one selection from three won.

But three placegetters (forget the place-win bonus) at, say, $1.50 each (2/1 on, pretty short), brings home 23.63 units, or 68.8 per cent profit on the overall bets for A. And B and C are dwelling on D to place, for good results to come.

Say the three placegetters averaged $1.30, pretty awful. It's still about 10 per cent profit on the outlay! As against losing the lot by a straightout 7 points win bet.

True, three 14 point win bets might well exceed anything I can dream up here, but remember Stan's problem.

He backed 'em to win and they placed! This way, he goes home with a smile on his face more often, and some days he even takes home all the bacon.

By The Optimist