Watch Out for the Elephant in the Room!A significant amount of money is invested every day of the week on one of the exotics which has captured everybody's attention in the past decade.Of course, I'm talking about the quadrella. So far as I can see, there is one available on every thoroughbred, trotting and dog race held in Australia and/or New Zealand. Every day of the week.I can't be bothered coming up how many quadrellas that is, but let's say it's about 100. Every one of them potentially hid

Watch Out for the Elephant in the Room!

A significant amount of money is invested every day of the week on one of the exotics which has captured everybody's attention in the past decade.

Of course, I'm talking about the quadrella. So far as I can see, there is one available on every thoroughbred, trotting and dog race held in Australia and/or New Zealand. Every day of the week.

I can't be bothered coming up how many quadrellas that is, but let's say it's about 100. Every one of them potentially hides a fortune which is within the hopeful punter's grasp. Some of them pay massive amounts. While these are usually quite unpredictable and lacking in any real correlation between their payout figure and a multiple of the four starting prices or TAB win prices, you can at least make a stab at the range of the dividends.

For example, if the meeting is a lonely country greyhound event, there will only be a small pool (relatively speaking) of maybe \$3000 to \$5000. With the flexi bet, there is every chance that the TAB payout will be for an investment of less than a \$1, total. And of course, contrary to popular belief, the winner then doesn't get 80% of the whole pool. No, the winner gets whatever percentage of a dollar they have invested multiplied by 80% of the pool. So, if the only winning bet, for argument's sake, is a 5ó flexi bet, then we will be looking at five per cent of eighty per cent.

It's a win, but the thing about a flexi bet if you are going to try to cover a significant number of selections (say 3 x 4 x 4 x 5 = 240) is its skyrocketing cost. 5% of that combination turns out to be \$12, 25% comes in at \$60.00, and half the full unit costs \$120. To be frank, unless you are dealing with a major race pool, my advice is to forget the whole thing and go fishing.

However, we still haven't mentioned the elephant in the room have we?

The elephant in this case is a maiden.

Well, maybe not literally in the case of Jumbo, but the percentage of country and provincial quadrellas in which a maiden features is just too high to be coincidence.

There was a time when they used to get these impossibly difficult events off the road early in the program. Forget that, they are where you have every chance of raising the dividend to a point where the poor old ignorant masses gaze in awe at the final dividend.

I would argue that the elephant, or maiden, is there too often to be anything but an underhand attempt to make an already difficult task damn near impossible.

I'm writing this on November 15. Today, we have three race meetings. In the first meeting, the second and fourth races are not maidens. But the fifth race is. Guess what race is right slap bang in the middle of the quadrella? There are fourteen runners, and the majority look to be established professional non-winners.

The second meeting, held at the National Capital, kicks off its quaddie with... ah yes, you're ahead of me aren't you? I've never heard of half of them.

And the third venue is in a Victorian western town renowned for a special meeting it holds each year. Now this is interesting. They start their program with four maiden races. That's half the program, and they've got the maidens out of the road. Believe it or not, all four events in the quadrella have a very good count of winners and placegetters.

You might argue that one out of three ain't bad, and that at least there is one quaddie worth having a bash at. I'm not arguing that every quadrella run in the country all week will have a maiden or two slipped in; what I'm saying is that the Victorian crowd can stage maidens for half the program and still stay clear of the quadrella, while this was perfectly possible at the other two meetings and yet was not done.

Well, I can but bring to your attention that the elephant is there. Whether or not you ignore him is up to you and your bankroll. However, if you don't, perhaps you should check the hours for the soup kitchens at your local charities.