In the final part of our special series, Jon Hudson updates some of the ingenious staking and selection methods complied by himself and The Optimist and published in Banker Weekly.

I can think of no better article with which to introduce this concluding episode in our Banker Weekly series, than one The Optimist wrote 12 months ago. It dealt very simply, but very firmly with money management, and unveiled 10 essential points that should become 'law' in any punter's armoury.

Headed 'A New Year Resolution', the article explained how a punter simply has to manage his staking in a proper fashion to stand any hope of getting in front with his betting. If you want to make money, then you have to be patient and regard your bets as real money, money that you have worked hard for and do not wish to lose.

The staking common-sense points made by The Optimist are as follows:

  1.  Make patience your No. 1 virtue.
  2. Decide on the size of your bank.
  3. Never invest more than two per cent of your bank per meeting.
  4. Never invest more than one per cent on a single selection.
  5. Regard your money as sacred and not just as 'betting money'.
  6. Have a clear idea of what you hope to get from racing ... it may be a return on your staking bank which is twice the rate you can get from a savings bank (and it's tax free).
  7. Keep a detailed record of every bet you make. No excuses, and no secret little bets.
  8. Avoid getting depressed by a run of losers, especially ones that should have won but for bad luck. There are going to be instances where you get winners who should have been beaten!
  9. Stick to a plan. This does not necessarily mean a system, but do have an ordered approach to your betting.
  10. Never remove a page from your bets record book to erase any bad bets, or silly bets. Be as honest as you can. If you made a silly bet and lost, then stick the ticket on the wall as a constant reminder!

I'm sure if you keep a mental record of these 10 points, you will already have gone a long way to cutting back on some of your losses.

This method is an ideal one for those punters who like a bit of action. In fact, plenty of action. It takes into account Weight and Odds, and I first revealed it in a December, 1987, issue of Banker Weekly.

Quite simply, all you do is add to the handicap weight of each horse, its price in the pre-post betting market. You should limit yourself to Open and Flying Handicaps, Mares races and Welters, though you can operate on Restricted class races if you wish. An example: Horse A is set to carry 57 kgs and is 4-1 in the betting. You add these totals (57 + 4) and you have a figure of 61. You do the
same thing for every horse in a race and the two runners with the LOWEST totals become the selections.

This method throws up a lot of good-priced winners and many, many placegetters. It takes into account weight and odds, and rarely throws up horses which have little or no chance. I advise backing both the top selections, unless the odds are prohibitive.

This one provides a great flow of winners and placegetters. In a test period, it showed a win strike rate of 31 per cent and a profit on turnover of 74 per cent. The rules are as follows:

  1. Consider only those horses listed between 2-1 and 5-1 in the pre-post betting market.
  2. To qualify further, a horse must have a win strike rate of 20 per cent or more, and a place strike rate of 50 per cent or more.
  3. To qualify further, a horse must have finished within five lengths of the winner in at least one of its last two starts, or you can consider one win from its last two starts as sufficient.
  4. The horse must have had its last start within the past 21 days.
  5. Eliminate any horse that did not race on a city track at its last start (city means Warwick Farm, Randwick, Rosehill and Canterbury in Sydney; Flemington, Moonee Valley, Caulfield and Sandown in Melbourne, and Eagle Farm and Doomben in Brisbane).

Statistics gathered from this method indicate you are likely to get about five or six bets per meeting. So it gives you plenty of action.

We published quite a number of 'mini systems' in Banker Weekly. Among them were a couple which I consider first-class for producing some nice winners. The first is called 'Third Pickers' and was published in Banker Weekly in October, 1987. You concentrate on the third horse on the newspaper tipsters' poll in each race. There are two qualifying rules-NO tipster should have selected the horse as his first pick, and there must be at least five horses named in the poll for any race.

So what you do is find the third poll choice, make sure it hasn't been selected on top by any of the tipsters, and ensure there are at least five horses in the poll for the race. Then you have your bet.

The other handy 'mini' system is called 'Last Start Goodies'. Consider only those horses which won at their last start. Mark them off on your form guide. A last-start winner becomes a bet if (a) it is on the first or second line of betting; and (b) it had its last start within the past 14 days.

This is a nice method for following those 'solid form' horses who are capable of winning again. You often can secure good value.

Its harder than anyone thinks to pick placed horses. Sometimes it appears that it's ridiculously easy, but when you try to do it, well, it's a different story!! Sure thing place bets run fourth, or get badly checked and lose all chance, or just simply get beaten on their merits.

The truths about place betting are these: Let's assume you had an average place divvy of 70c (on a 50c unit). You would have to collect on five out of every seven bets (71 races every 100) just to break even. So ask yourself this question: Can I pick 71 placegetters from every 100 races on which I operate? I can assure you that finding 71 per cent placegetters is extremely difficult.

But let's look on the positive side: If you could hit 80 collects from every 100 races and you could achieve a 70c return on each placed horse then you would be in this position:


Now that's a hard way to win $12, isn't it? Even if your returns averaged 80 cents for every 50c (5-3 on) you would have to collect in 63 per cent of races (63 every 100).

That means five placegetters from every eight bets, just to break even. If, however, you could raise your strike rate to 75 per cent (tough, tough, tough) your betting would look like this:


This is looking more respectable. You would be achieving a good 20 per cent return on your outlay. If you bet in $100 place units and bet on, say, 10 horses per week for 52 weeks a year, you would have staked $52,000. If you achieved the above strike rate (75 per cent with an average $1.60 divvy) you would collect on 390 races for a total return of $62,400, a profit on your outlay of $10,400, or $200 per week.

All this is theory, naturally, because the problem that always confronts you is how do you achieve a 75 per cent strike rate for the place from every 100 bets, and get that average $1.60 return?

Finally, a quick ratings method. You allot points to horses for their last three starts, then add points taking into account the handicap weight.

You select the two best races on the card and allot points as follows:

Last Start: 1st (50 points), 2nd (40), 3rd (30), 4th (15), 5th (10).
2nd Last Start: 1st (40), 2nd (30), 3rd (20), 4th (10), 5th (5).
3rd Last Start: 1st (30), 2nd (20), 3rd (10), 4th (5), 5th (1).

Once you have done this, you add four points for each kilo a horse carried UNDER the top weight. So if a horse has 51 kgs and the top weight is 57 kgs, you add 24 points (6 x 4).


Horse A ran 2nd last start 40 points
At 2nd last start it won 40 points
At 3rd last start it was 9th Nil
It has to carry 54 kgs and the top weight for the race has 55 kgs. Thus it has a 1kg pull in the weights and gets four points (1 x 4). So its total points are 80 from its last starts and four on the weights factor, for a total of 84.


Click here to read Part 1.
Click here to read Part 2.
Click here to read Part 3.
Click here to read Part 4.

By Jon Hudson