For many years now I have used a betting approach that combines my selections in the best bettable races. It's what I call a 'winning edge factor' and it's a form of multiple betting that has ensured I make regular profits.

But getting to the point where you can bet sensibly and successfully in this fashion requires a lot of thinking and planning. It is money management in the true sense of the word.

I like to look for the ideal betting races. This means beginning with a look at the tracks. What are the conditions like, what sort of horses (as far as class goes) are engaged, and which races look to be the best.

By 'best' I don't just mean the class of the race, but the races in which the form of each runner is well exposed, races for experienced horses, races which do not present too many problems when I am assessing form, condition, consistency, class and distance ability.

Usually, only one race - at the most two - will attract my attention on a program. I am rather ruthless in eliminating races from contention. It's due to this that I keep ahead of the game all the time. Those who take too many risks, and bet on too many races, inevitably will hit the betting 'wall' and meet themselves on the rebound!

I must admit that I tend to veer towards the longer races, those from, say, 1400m and upwards. This has been a developing thing of mine for some years, mainly because I have noticed that I extract the best profits from these races.

It's not a hard and fast rule. Naturally, I look long and closely at sprint races, and many of them stand out as good races on which to bet. In the long term, though, it's those 1400m-plus races that make most appeal to me.

The bettable races to search for are those in which one or two horses seem to have much more winning potential than any of the other runners. This is not as easy as it might seem.

The toughest races to assess are those for 2yos. You get instances where the youngsters have a couple of outings in, say, October

and November, and are then put aside and resume in February or March. Your task is to assess the improvement factor.

Some will have made drastic improvement, others may have gone backwards. Some simply fail to show the brilliance they displayed in the spring, for whatever reason.

Top-class races - those at set weights, weight-for-age and the major handicaps - appeal most to me. They attract the cream of the horses that are in training and, for the most part, they are ideal betting races.

You can often find weighted specials in the set weight events. I have landed any number of value winners by combing through the weight shifts.

Once I have found the bettable races, the task is to choose the 'pea' selection, the one I think can win the race at decent odds. Here I draw on not only my own assessments, but information I get from contacts (paid contacts, I might add) who feed me data on fitness, trackwork and any stable gossip they might have picked up.

With my own computer data base, my formguides, my own

knowledge, my video replays, and camera strip-finish charts from the Sportsman and the Globe, I begin the 'big search' for winners.

There really is a mass of information, but I've done this job for years now and I know the short-cuts. Usually, at my initial look, I can eliminate most of the runners from contention, and narrow my chances down.

You can adopt this process, too, and use a simple form of multiple betting. Why not consider picking two horses out and then bet them at level stakes - providing you can be assured of a 100 per cent profit should one of them win.

That means you look for a minimum $4 return on the TAB, or 3/1 minimum about each horse with the bookies. It's an easy to handle approach and you won't get into too much trouble with it, providing your selections are made carefully.

I sometimes use this approach myself, when I consider I have selections of equal ability. But that's not all the time. In other instances, I use my own special 'value with safety' approach.

It's a clever and highly analytical way of combining both favourites and longshots, and it has served me well for a long time.

In short, I look for those bettable races - in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane - and I bet only on Saturdays (the exceptions being Melbourne Cup day and a few other public holiday meetings).

My selections are linked in my 'winning edge factor' to determine the precise investment on each. If I were a $1 bettor, and I am NOT (!), the outlay would be between $1 and $7 for each bettable race, usually no more than three a day.

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

By Jon Hudson