In this article, UK expert Philip Alexander, one of Britain's most acclaimed form and systems experts, concludes his feature on John Mort "The Butterfly" Green, the Australian punter who became highly successful as a professional punter in Britain and Europe.

Dedication and discipline, both in abundance, are two of the necessary assets that anyone must possess to become a truly successful professional gambler. This is why so few punters ever seriously aim at such lofty aspirations.

John Mort Green was an exception to this general rule and, having attained such an enviable position, his words of advice are not to be ignored. My intention is to quote these on a singular basis and then try to explore their often hidden meaning.

(1) Never be greedy.

Dictionary definitions have a remarkable knack of hitting the nail well and truly on the head. One of the alternative meanings of the word greedy states, "wanting wealth or pleasure in excess".

Now, it all depends on what you mean by excess but, joking aside, this first piece of invaluable guidance conceals a multiplicity of mischievousness. What does the average punter think about when he is warned against the evil of avarice in connection with his betting activities?

In eight cases out of every 10, what he will think of first is the backing of those animals that start at protracted odds - but would he be correct in making only this assumption?

My grandfather (like the father of John Mort Green) was also a bookmaker, and I know the glint that came into his eye whenever anyone handed him a multiple-bet wager. He didn't even show concern at having to pay out on these bets, knowing full well that, because of the nature of the gambler, all the proceeds (plus a little more) would come back to him within a relatively short space of time.

(2) Never look at anything other than the best-class horses, trainers and jockeys.

Quality! Quality! Quality! Always that was the unmistakably loud theme song of The Butterfly. From his "gauche Miami blue suit, with a gas chamber green, snap-brim Madison Avenue hat and yellow imitation snakeskin leather shoes" to the vivacious blonde-haired chauffeur, the Rolls-Royce and the private jet plane to fly him to the French tracks at weekends.

Everything gave rise to his passionately held belief that the only people with inferior complexes happened to be inferior people! At the racecourse he even took to wearing a single red glove without fingers so that he was easily recognised by bookies in the ring.

A luxury flat in London's West End and a string of wealthy girlfriends led to newspaper columnists labelling him a playboy. Automatically it followed on that he should never look at anything other than the best-class horses, trainers and jockeys.

(3) Forget those dreams of 100/1 winners and be content with horses in strong demand in the market.

Covered by what has appeared under the first rule it remains true to say that the majority of winners start at prices up to 5/1. So the obvious place to look for your bets is spelt out for you in the boldest of capital letters.

(4) Stop as soon as you are showing a profit on the day.

Recommendations for this piece of prudence may not at first be obvious. Surely, if things are going well it would be no more than reasonable to assume that you should make the most of your lucky run. That would be the only commonsense thing to do.

On the subject of luck, though, our guru expresses himself admirably. To summarise his thoughts, he believes that "Lady Luck is another name for the devil's disciple" and it may well be that it is "the same two-timing, double-crossing, fairy-tale female who encourages you to play up your winnings when you are showing a profit".

Now this is an entirely different thing from just stopping when you are in front, and it makes hugely sensible reading when a little probing reveals what I suspect to be the underlying psychology behind the above statement.

Indeed, this could very probably have stemmed from the number of times The Butterfly had seen this sort of thing happen from the bookmaker's side of the counter!

(5) Back unpopular riders on the tote (TAB).

Goes without saying! The more popular the jockey, the more readily his mounts will become "the housewife's choice" and consequently will carry an abundance of small bets, invariably on the tote.

(6) Watch for eleventh-hour riding changes.

No longer applicable in the same sense as the above words of wisdom. However, a comparison of the overall percentage winners, always allied to the starting prices of those successful animals, for the stable's leading jockey against those of the other, less experienced pilots who are given the rides by the trainer, is still immensely important.

(7) Follow money from big betting stables.

Seemingly, there are occasions when everyone "in the know" is aware that one of the betting stables is about to land a gamble. Probably The Butterfly was in a position whereby he knew that to be correct; the majority of us aren't, and never will be. Therefore, I suggest the role to adopt is that of historian rather than clairvoyant.

Let the empirically proven past act as your guide to the future, but never overlook this one fact: The stables that do not gamble will often produce winners at nice prices. Going in the opposite direction to what the knowledgeable masses think they know, can sometimes pay handsome dividends.

(8) Learn to think the same way as trainers and jockeys.

Essential even for the beginner just as much as it is for the skilled operator. Make a note of those trainers who prefer to give their charges an airing before visiting the winner's enclosure.

Reliance on a few of these carefully chosen individuals is a better way of going about the selection process than commencing with the horse. The best trainers invariably engage the best jockeys to ride the best horses. Stick to that principle and you won't go far wrong.

(9) Always get value by trying to beat the book.

Value is a subject best avoided because, like beauty, it is merely in the eye of the beholder. What may be seen as value for one man may appear in an entirely different light for another. 

It's an individualistic decision that no man can teach. On a purely personal note, I will demonstrate what was considered as value by me, but was openly ridiculed by several of my colleagues.

On September 12, 1970, I travelled to the St Leger at Doncaster (UK). Several times in the previous season I had written about Nijinsky, the best 2yo seen for a very long time, and had actually suggested that punters should take the 8/1 being offered about the Vincent O'Brien trained star collecting the celebrated Triple Crown the following year.

Having won the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Epsom Derby, this was to be the crunch. Nijinsky was bound to start a red-hot favourite but, like a true belt, braces and safety-pin punter, I began to get cold feet.

Hadn't we seen the long odds-on chances fail before? Fortunately, to my rescue, came the realisation that the race contained nine runners enough for place-only betting on the tote.

To cut a long story short, I could visualise Nijinsky suffering the most freakish of accidents on the final bend and still being good enough to run into third spot under the "guidance" of Lester Piggott. Tentatively, I risked having my biggest bet ever on what appeared to be a stone cold cert - but for a place only!

Click here to read Part 1.

By Philip Alexander