In the second part of his series on money management Denton Jardine takes a look at how you can use progression method to boost profits on overlays.

There are many who swear that staking plans are the root of all evil. Yet why is it that I know so many punters who are happily following staking plans with varying degrees of success?

Perhaps it's because they take time in making their selections, and that they don't try to bet on every race and that most have inbuilt safety brakes when they strike a losing run.

A friend of mine backs fairly short-priced horses (averaging around 2/1) and he has used a progression method of staking for the last six years, and reports that he is winning more than had he stuck to level stakes.

It's because, he says, he is flexible where the progression betting is concerned. If he feels the progression is starting to prove difficult, he just snaps off and starts again. Overall, he reports, it's all worked out well.

How best can we play progression staking plans? It depends on what price horses you are backing. You can frame your staking plan to suit the average price of your winners.

Firstly, though, a grading list of plans: How can we say which is best, and so on? I've done a lot of thinking and my view is that for safe, conservative backers the No 1 plan is plain old level stakes. Coming in at No 2 are those progression plans which are compiled so that if you strike a winner at your average price then you come out square, no matter how many losses have been accumulated.

Then there is the much-maligned target betting. There is an acidic hatred of target betting by most racing people - but I have a soft spot for it. Plans like the 6-Point Divisor and the 10-Point Divisor can help you to control your betting. Provided you adopt a safety brake, to bring in a new divisor and target during losing runs, there should be no problems at all.

Critics always point to the fact that you can have a long losing run and then strike only an even money winner with target betting. But, of course, you don't have to bet that even money chance, do you? You can control the entire staking plan to bet horses whose prices offer you a real chance of profits.

It's all a matter of playing it cool. Keeping your head. Seeking value. Doing what you feel is rational.

If you restrict your betting to those horses you rate as overlays, then a progression betting plan can help you strike excellent profits. Let's say you are betting a 2/1 winner progression plan, but you are actually obtaining better odds with your winners - that's when the edge comes in for you.

The progression for backing 2/1 chances (I stress that the 2/1 is your estimated 'true' price) is as follows:


Let's say you have four losers in a row with horses you have priced at 2/1, but then the fifth bet brings in an overlay winner at 7/2. Your bet on this winner is 4 units, so your return is 18 units. To this point, your outlay has been 11 units, so you now have a 7 units profit. That's a profit of 44.4 per cent on turnover.

Had you backed each at level stakes of 2 units each, you would have got back 9 units on an outlay of 10 units - a loss of I unit. So on this winner-flow, the progression beats the pants off level stakes, doesn't it?

You must remember that I am stressing here that with the 2/1 chances I am not talking about 2/1 SP winners. The 2/1 is your price and you bet only when you can secure an overlay (from, say, 5/2 upwards). The same with other progressions for horses at different prices.

The progressions are as follows:

For backing 3/1 chances (as assessed by you)


For backing 4/1 chances (as assessed by you)


For backing 5/1 chances (as assessed by you)


For backing 6/1 chances (as assessed by you)


Used sensibly, and with an accurate price assessment by yourself, these progressions can prove real profit reapers. But, as with everything, they won't make money on losers!

Your assessments of each bet are going to have to be pretty accurate - and you must get an overlay price, so that when a winner arrives it hooks you straight into profit. The better the overlay the greater the profit.

For example, on the 2/1 progression if you went seven bets without a winner, you would be trailing 26 units. But, then, on the 5th bet you might strike a nice overlay winner at 4/1. The bet on it is 14 units.

That gives you a return of 70 units. Your total outlay on the progression was 40 units. So your profit on one overlay winner is 30 units (or 75 per cent on turnover).

Betting at level stakes of 5 units each (40 units) the return would have been 25 units for a loss of 15 units.

It all comes down to good, solid overlay betting, using the right progression.

NEXT MONTH: A fresh look at the 6-Point Divisor target betting plan.

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

By Denton Jardine