Little bits of information taken individually they may not amount to much, but put them together in a mass and it could be a vastly different story.

The aim of this series has been to bring together a number of informative jottings about betting. You can consider them all, pick out what you want, and discard the rest. Already we've had feedback from readers who say they are putting the tidbits of info to use.

The items are taken from the Firepower newsletter's 'How To Bet Comer', and are the work of a number of P.P.M. contributors. Take a look at this latest line-up and see if there's anything you think will prove useful.

There are things to remember when betting level stakes. Four losers in a row means you are going into 5 units outlay on the fifth bet. To make a profit you need to back a winner at 5/1. This will return you 6 units. If you hit a losing run of 10 your 11th bet will make it 11 units out. To make $1 profit you need to back an 11 /1 winner - or two or more winners whose odds total 11/1. Lost ground, then, is difficult to recoup, whether you're betting level stakes or target.


Punters who prefer the cautious approach inevitably gravitate to place betting. If you do bet for a place, you still have to seek value. Avoid horses that are going to be too short-priced. No use, really, going for anything under 2/1. Second favs between 9/4 and 7/2 usually provide consistently strong returns. Try all-ups to secure better results: $1.50 return into a $1.60 return gives you a total of $2.40, or almost 6/4 the place double.

Choose 4 horses per meeting. Split the foursome into a parlay, or Yankee, of 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a 4-horse accumulator. Bet 4 units on each double. Bet 2 units on each treble. Bet 1 unit on the accumulator. The outlay is $24 on the doubles, $8 on the trebles and $1 on the accumulator, a total of $33. One double at 7/1 will see you break just about square.


US expert Danny Holmes says punters must first get rid of poor horses before analysing form. He says they only clutter up a field, and you can waste too much time on them. Look for bad form and, when you find it, eliminate the horse immediately.

Target betting can be okay if you keep it simple. Let's say you want to win $100 and you have selections in two separate races. Your first horse is 3/1, the second horse is 4/1. You bet $25 on the first horse. If it wins you have won $75. You now need to win only $25, so your bet on the 4/1 chance is $7. Should the first horse lose you bet the 4/1 chance with $25. If it wins, you have laid out $50 and your return is $125. You have won $75. Try to get the other $25 the next time.

Horses racing second-up from a spell are often considered risky betting mediums, but a few astute punters pick up some nice collects on them. One Sydney semi-professional bettor looks only at horses placed 2nd or 3rd first-up from a spell. He backs them next start provided they have the limit weight (lowest) or a kilo above (before any apprentice claims are taken into account). The horses also must be drawn no wider than barrier 7 and must be priced at 6/1 or under in the pre-post market.

Using the tipsters' polls in newspapers can be a tricky affair. Blindly following the top horse in the poll is a recipe for disaster. One approach that can be looked at further is to check each top horse in the poll which is among the first 3 in the weights for its event (using TAB numbers as the guide, that is numbers 1, 2 or 3) and which is priced at 7/2 up to 5/1. This gives you a strongly-fancied runner at a decent price.


One way to trim down fields is to adopt a policy of eliminating any runners who were not 1st to 4th last start, or which did not finish within 2.5 lengths of the winner. Having done that, adopt a policy of the last start having to be within the previous 21 days. Zero in, then, on those runners on the first few lines of betting.

Jockeys can be useful to follow. One method is to work out each jockey's win strike percentage and then back only those horses whose prices fit in with that win rate. Example: A jockey's win strike is 10 per cent, back all his rides at 10/1 and longer. Another example: A jockey's win strike is 20 per cent, back all his mounts at 5/1 and longer.

Can you pick two certain placegetters every Saturday? If you can you could try the old place allup bet. Forget all other bets for the day and put the entire bank on the two place specials. Two placers at $1.35 and $1.25 for a $100 all-up would return you a $69 profit that's 69 per cent on your money. Not to be sniffed at.

A pro punter in Sydney is renowned for his plonks on favourites. He makes a profit every season. How can he make money from favs when the stats show there should be a level stakes loss of between 3 and 10 per cent? The punter only backs favs with a win strike of 25 per cent and more. Simple as that. He never bets oddson.

I hope this lineup of items from Firepower helps you.

Click here to read Part 3.
Click here to read Part 1.
Click here to read Part 2.

By Peter Travers