Winning at racing is all about finding out something that the other bloke doesn't know about, or finding an angle on staking that will boost your profitable edge.

Those who tread the same track as everyone else are, like everyone else, doomed to fail.

It really is as simple as that, in my experience, anyway. Finding these angles remains one of the great mysteries.

We’ve tried to put people on the winning path through the pages of PPM these past 17 years and it's always good to receive feedback from readers who have crossed that invisible line between being losers and being winners, or at the least being someone who has managed to pare back losses.

Any morsel of information can lead you to a new angle, whether it's selecting a winner to backing a winner. What about the following idea. It's one that has been around a long time, in varying forms.

It combines selection and staking. It's called The Best Six and it comes up with its share of winners in handicap races. Maybe you should examine it carefully? Perhaps it can prove a winner, or give you a lead-in to a varied version that might prove more successful?

The only horses to be considered are those which ran between 1st and 6th at their most recent start.

The race must have been 21 days or less ago.

Of the qualifying horses, back the one at the shortest price provided it's at 5/2 ($3.50) or better. If the shortest-priced runner of the qualifiers is under 5/2, then back the second shortest-priced runner of those contenders.

The price range of the horse to be backed must be from 5/2 to 10/1. Don't back any runner at longer odds than 10/1, even if it qualifies.

When you strike a race in which two of the qualifiers are both at under 5/2, you reduce the odds limit to 2/1 and back the qualifying horse on the PLACE tote.

The staking approach recommended for the bets is that you go for level stakes for the first 10 bets. If there's a profit, then raise the level-stake bet to 2 for the next 10 bets. If a profit, raise to 3 and so on.

If a series of 10 bets ends with an overall loss, then simply remain on that unit level for another 10 bets, or until a profit is achieved.

Whenever the "art of clever staking" is talked about, most people will sav there's no art to it, that all you need to do is back at level stakes. There is, of course, absolutely nothing wrong with level stakes as a staking approach, though in practice it requires a lot of discipline always to have the same amount on every single selection.

Think about it.

You are saying that a bet on a Maiden galloper at Warmambool must be the same as a bet on Sunline in a Group 1 at Flemington! Is that realistic? More to the point, is it sensible?

Most punters will vary their stakes according to fancy and a personal estimate of the strength of a particular selection. This is the opposite principle to level stakes.

Most punters, bless us, are not holders of unerring judgement and because of this the varying of stakes is one of the worst ways to bet, despite its popularity. Big bets tend to go on losers and small bets onto winners, not every time but certainly enough times to make this a losing game which sees the punter failing to exploit successes.

Level stakes has its drawbacks as well. One is the slow accumulation of any worthwhile profit. This tests the patience of even the most conservative bettors.

A way out of this situation is to very gradually increase or decrease the general level of staking as profits build up or losses mount. A lot of money-management skill is required for this strategy but the effort can be rewarding.

A professional punter I know has a simple staking approach based on