Hello to all my friends in Australia and wherever this magazine finds you.

Many of you already know of me because of the Portfolio concept which I provided for Equestrian (and which, I am pleased to say, has been going so well), so I feel we already have something in common. I use the Internet extensively to study Australia's racing and, to be honest, I have to admit that your racing Net sites are the best anywhere.

There is nothing to compare with Brian Blackwell's Practical Punting Daily site. It is a magnificent, ten-out-of-ten idea.

My portfolios have been my commitment in racing for some time now, and over the years I have drawn some comfort from the fact that they have made me (and others) a whole heap of the good stuff. I started out with the idea that a system was the way to go, and quickly realised that while one was having a dreadful run, there must be several others that were not!

For example, if there were eight horses in a race (as there often are out my way), one had to win, and it was part of some system. A wacky system maybe, but a system. A plan of attack. So, I asked myself, how about if I assembled five or six of the best, and worked on them?

I read James Quinn, Andy Beyer, Dick Mitchell, Drs Quirin and Ziemba, Mark Cramer, Barry Meadow, various other top writers, and the classics by such notables as Pittsburgh Phil, Tom Ainslie, Robert Dowst, Ray Taulbot, and the English writers.

I also got hold of copies of books by the great Rem Plante and your excellent Don Scott for Aussie courses.

I read until my eyes were on stalks, but I came out equipped!

So, when the opportunity arose to create systems pertinent to racing down under, I was already well familiar with the local scene. I had been doing some preliminary work on them, and was able to produce two working plans that some of you purchased and, I understand, were delighted with (they win, so why wouldn't you be?).

The idea of a portfolio, similar to my US version, was a natural progression.

And it worked on paper, and it worked when the cash went down.

Now, as I understand it, the idea has ignited the brain of your best methods man, but maybe I am talking out of turn here, so I will stick to my brief.

I am going to offer you a series of plans that you can build into a neat little back-up portfolio of your own. Each month in PPM I will draw on something I have learnt along the way. Maybe you've seen it, maybe not.

In this article I am going to teach you the 57 Concept Plan.

You need to be able to find a winner at around 10/1, here and there, for this to operate successfully long term. Favourites at 9/5 won't pay the wages but they keep the pot boiling.

Firstly, I want you to decide on a sensible profit figure that you'd be happy with for your activity.

Let's say $100 for the purpose of this example.

When you make this target of $100, you start again.

In the US there are three bet levels - win, place and show (a combination of second and third), but I understand that show is not used in Australia.

You start with a bank of $19 to win and $38 to place, a total of 57.

You can have thirteen successive losers on the win bank, and sixteen on the place, before you go out the door backwards.

How you bet is to multiply the first figure in each bank by two. The win bank is 19, so 1 x 2 = 2. That is your win bet. The first figure in the place bank is 3, so 3 x 2 = 6.

The bet is 2 to win and 6 to place. If there is a loser, the bet will stay the same. If the horse wins (bless his little hide) at, say, 5/1, you receive $10 profit for the win and whatever the place tote pays (say it pays $2.20 for every dollar, that's $11.20 profit).

Now the banks are at $29 and $49.20, and the profit overall is $21.20.

The next bet is 4 the win (2 x 2) and 8 the place (4 x 2).

I want you to remember a very important part of this plan. It is designed to keep you out of trouble and give you a show of making a killing and keeping a hold of it. When you reach your target, STOP and start again.

Example: Win bank $60, Place bank $99, Profit $102. Take the money and run!

You might find that the place bank grows faster, although there will be times when your luck is running and you wonder why you put more on to place.

You will hear a lot more of that word while you ride along with me.

By Al Diamond Jnr