As racing becomes an ever harder game from which to profit at conservative level stakes, increasing numbers of punters are trying to devise 'fresh' ways to bet. They are the punters who, by careful study, pick their share of winners but who find it increasingly difficult to grind out a decent profit.

I have advocated for many years that serious punters, or those just serious about winning money should adopt bold 'creative' staking strategies in a bid to cash in on their winners and make a good profit.

It isn't easy, but it can be done, though creative staking can also mean high-risk betting. If you are not prepared to take risks, or use what is known as the 'maximum boldness' approach, then perhaps you should stick to what you are already doing.

In any form of betting, never do something about which you feel uncomfortable, especially where it comes to the money side of things. Always ensure you are 100 per cent satisfied that what you are doing is the right thing for you.

Creative staking calls for the punter to defy the normal precepts of betting, to break the rules, to be more adventurous than the next bloke in the TAB queue. If that means you shoot for target betting, then that's OK. If it means you go for progression staking, then so be it. If it means you use a divisor, as in the famous 6-Point Divisor Plan, then that's fine, too.

All I suggest is that you think carefully about what you do before embarking on a programme that will see you underwriting your staking with cold, hard cash! Treat your betting in a businesslike manner. You will not regret playing reasonably safe in this regard.

But you must decide on a creative approach, whereby your staking puts you in a position to capitalise on your winners to the maximum. If it means using your selections as key quinella or trifecta bankers, then GO FOR IT, and shoot for huge dividends, even if it means just one 'bonza bet' for the day.

When you do go ahead with your staking plan, ensure you maintain efficient and accurate betting records. Few amateur punters do, so they never really know what their financial position might be at any particular time. I suspect that many punters would be rocked if they discovered how poorly their betting had been going over the years! Perhaps this is why they don't like to maintain accounts.

Maximising your 'value' selections in trifectas is one creative way to give a boost to your betting returns. If you come up with a nice 5/1 or 6/1 shot, it's a chance for you to zero in for the kill on the trifecta. Decide on, say, 5 or 6 selections to link with your banker and plough the money on.

You should be able to land 2nd and 3rd from half a dozen picks so, if your banker salutes, you stand to collect hundreds of dollars, sometimes thousands, on the trifecta. You simply take the banker to win and the others to run 2nd and 3rd. Also, you can allow for the "fact that your banker might get rolled in a photo-finish: Take the others to win, the banker to run 2nd, and the others to run 3rd.

This is a very straightforward way to go about things. I know a chap in Sydney who conducts his entire betting operation in this manner. He hasn't had a win or place bet for years. "Why bother," he says, "when I can pick up windfall divvies with trifectas."

If you want to grab at the cash in a big way, you could adopt what I call The Triple Crown approach. You select three horses and you bet them in three different ways:

  • You link them in a parlay of three doubles and a treble for both win and place.
  • You bet them according to your assessed price in each race.
  • You use them as part of an ongoing 'double up' from meeting to meeting. In other words, all the bets you have on them are treated as one, and all the returns are reinvested on another three horses in separate races on a following race day.

The parlay has been discussed here in this magazine many times. Suffice to say, your doubles will be A-B, A-C, and B-C, with a treble of ABC. You bet them for a win and for the place. The cost, at 1 unit each, is 8 units. The multiple single bet approach gives you a chance of covering all expenses with one winner. Your bet depends on your assessed price. You use the following staking table:

evens25 9/2 9
6/4 20 5/1 9
2/118 6/1 8
5/2 14 7/1 7
3/1 12 8/1 7
7/2 11 10/1 5
4/1 10 12/1 4
If, then, your three prime bets for the day have been assessed by you at 4/1, 9/2 and 8/ 1, your bets in the individual races would be 10, 9 and 7, a total of 26 units. A win by any one will give you a profit, two winners will add to it. and all three winning will see you collect three times, for a handsome profit. If you can secure overlays on your assessed prices then your profit will zoom.

Separate from this is the third angle of this bet: Any monies you get from three individual bets on them are put together and rolled over to your next three horses on another day's racing. It's a way of attempting to make the most of a good run. You shift profits to another day and start off in a big way.

Now we come to the Recession Breaker Plan. This plan, operated carefully, is safe, profitable, flexible and easy to use. The rules are simple. It has been advocated that the bettor seek a 20 per cent return on investment, but this may be too high.

Even with conservative targets, like 10 and 12.5 per cent, the maximum draw downs can be 40 or 50 times the base bet. This is an area where the punter requires good sense, discipline and patience. It won't I always happen that you are faced with such a situation but you should be prepared for it.

The rules of the Recession Breaker are as follows:

  1. Set your profit level requirement. Virtually any percentage figure can be used; the higher the figure the greater the risk.
  2. Start with a basic unit investment (anything from $1 upwards) and progress up the scale only when you are not achieving your predetermined profit. Once you have achieved your desired percentage profit you close off the series and start another.
  3. The progression scale we have drawn up is based on a 20 per cent rising scale, but any progression scale can be used (5, 10, 15 per cent etc.).
  4. See The Recession Breaker Plan on page 39 for the betting values.

A PPM reader, Edward J.M. of Melbourne, wrote to my colleague Brian Blackwell recently in regard to this plan and said: "I would like to state that I do not advocate using such a high target as 25 per cent, unless the selection method being used has a high strike rate, close to 50 per cent, and there aren't too many of them around.

"With ordinary selections, with strike rates around 20-25 per cent, a 25 per cent target is fraught with danger because of the inevitable runs of outs that will occur. With strike rates in that range, I would advocate a target of 10 or 12.5 per cent, certainly no more than 15 per cent.

"As a general rule, I think that a target of half the known or expected strike rate is the maximum that should be used."

Edward used a couple of bet sequences to put the Recession Breaker through a computer simulation. The sequences were:

(a) L-L-L-L-(W 3 / l)-L-L-L-(W 5/ I)-L-L-(W 2/ I)-L-L-L-(W 4/ l)-LL-L-(W evens).

(b) L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-(Win evens)(W 5 / l)-(W 4 / l)-L-(W 3 / l)-(W 2/1)-L-L-L-L-L-L.

Sequence A, with a target set at 25, per cent, based on 80 selections and a base bet of $100, had a maximum bet of $758.50, and a maximum draw down of $1184, turnover of $16,274.50 and a profit of $6490.50, or 39.9 per cent on turnover.

The same sequence seeking only 12,5 per cent with 80 selections and a base bet of $100, had a maximum bet of $246.50, a maximum draw down of $848, turnover of $8911, and profit of $828.50, or 9.3 per cent on turnover.

Using Sequence B, there was a 37.1 per cent profit seeking 25 per cent, and a 10.5 per cent profit seeking only 12.5 per cent profit.

As my pal says, it looks better than it might be in reality. There could be a long losing run of 25 outs. A computer simulation of a combined sequence for 160 bets, assuming 25 outs in a row, showed a maximum bet of almost $19,000 and a maximum draw down of almost $65,000, for a 32.5 per cent profit.

But, as my mate points out, who could afford to run a progression like that? Cutting back to 10 per cent, on 160 bets, with 25 successive losers, the maximum bet was $609.50 and the maximum draw down $4002, for turnover of $22,343 and a profit of 8.57 per cent on turnover.

So the more you seek the riskier the game becomes, especially if you have to cope with a long losing run. Why not try for a 5 per cent profit? In this way, you should be able to avoid long losing runs and your investment will be kept under firm control.


By Damien Whitchurch