The Fair and Value Price Place Betting Chart below has as its basis the theory written about by Roger Dedman in his book Commonsense Punting.

Taking Dedman's theory and adjusting it using my own formula, the chart takes into account such things as the tote operator's takeout, the rounding down of tote dividends and the bookmaker's over-rounds.

So long as the actual prices on offer are reasonably accurate, then the chart will also accurately reflect what are acceptable place prices for the second favourite.

The chart can be used on races where the first- and second favourites fall within the price range of \$1.50 (l/2 on) to \$9 (8/1).

Only those combinations that mathematically offer a 50/50 chance of the second-favourite running a place are shown.

While it is recommended that the chart be best used in fields of eight, nine or ten, it can still be put to useful effect in any sized field.

The actual levels of "fair and value" margins vary because in all instances the prices have been rounded up to the next 10 cent price step, i.e. the "true" price combination of a \$2.50 (6/4) favourite into a \$3.50 (5/2) second favourite is \$1.34 (for the second favourite), but the chart displays a price of \$1.40, while if the second favourite was priced at \$4 (3/1), the "true" price is \$1.47 but the chart displays a price of \$1.50.

The chart should not be used indiscriminately - but backed by the judgement of one's own opinion of the true chances in a race.

To use the chart you need to locate the intersection where the price of the first-favourite, whose price is shown across the top, intersects with that of the second-favourite, whose price is down the left-hand side.

Example: The favourite is quoted at \$3 while the second-favourite is quoted at \$4.50: the Fair and Value place price for the second-favourite can be found where the two prices intersect, which in this instance is \$1.70.

Likewise with a favourite priced at \$4 and a second-favourite priced at \$5.50, the value price for the second-favourite would be \$2.10.

In this latter instance, if the second-favourite was priced at longer than \$5.50, it would not qualify, as its chances would be less than 50/50.

Now for some guidelines on how to best make use of the chart:

1. Only select races in which there are 8, 9 or 10 runners, at distances 160Orn or less, unless at Group 1, 2 or 3 level.
2. The selection must be the second-favourite (or equal first favourite).
3. The selection must have raced within the past 21 days or less.
4. In races 1200m or longer, the selection must be at least third-up this preparation.
5. In races less than 1200m, first-up is okay, so long as the selection has won first-up at, or longer than, the distance of today's race at least once during its last two preparations and the qualifying run was not in Maiden class.
6. In races less than 1200m, second-up is okay, so long as the selection meets guidelines 1, 2 and 3 and is not going up in distance more than 100m.
7. Only bet in Melbourne and Sydney on Saturday/public holiday class meetings.

Let's look at a snapshot of how these guidelines have performed. On September 8, the only race to qualify was race 5 at Flemington. Titanic jack was the clear \$3.50 second -favourite, behind the favourite Innovation Girl at \$2.60. Using the chart, the Fair and Value place price for Titanic jack was \$1.40, which is what it paid for running third.

On September 15, the only potential selection at Rosehill failed to meet the minimum price requirement. At Moonee Valley in race 3, where the two equal favourites, Nul Autre and Schumperter, were both at \$4.20 quotes, meaning a place price of \$1.70 would be required about either of them. Nul Autre was at \$1.70 and ran third, while Schumperter was at \$1.50 and ran unplaced.

The other selection to qualify was Fields Of Omagh in race 6, which it won and paid the required place dividend of \$1.30.

So over the two weekends, three bets for three collects and a nice profit of 1.4 units, a 46.6 per cent return. Next month we will publish a similar place chart for first favourites.

By E.J. Minnis

PRACTICAL PUNTING - NOVEMBER 2002