In my previous PPM article, “Stick to the Easy Races" (August PPM), I wrote about a bad run of outs I had encountered betting on races in Perth and how I backtracked to find out where I had become wayward, not only in the selection area but in the staking as well.

I began the rough draft of that article, strangely enough, on a flight to Perth to attend the funeral of one of my best friends, Jack Banks, who was a man who enjoyed the punt but not with the same fanaticism as I do.

The death of any close friend or relative causes reflections on many fronts and I was no exception. One of the reflections I had concerned my own future life as a punter and what I really wanted from horse race betting.

Over the years I have thoroughly enjoyed the punt, just like jack, but in recent years I admit to having felt worn down by the constant barrage of very ordinary races and have punted mainly for leisure also but still in what I call a professional manner. I was quite happy to break square for the year.

As readers of PPM are aware, the enjoyment of trying to win money has come back to me due to my attraction to Perth racing and the arrival of betting exchanges.

On return to Melbourne I decided I would give myself a challenge of increasing a starting bank of $5,000 by 50 per cent within 12 months, or the rough equivalent of $50 per week on mostly my A and B selections in Perth and the better class races in the Eastern States, as discussed in my previous article.

PPM readers need to be aware I bet in moderate amounts and finding and setting aside a $5,000 bank is enough to begin with considering the family considerations I have, plus it’s always sensible to start with a bank size that does not mentally strain you on two important fronts.

One, if the bank is meagre your bets could become flippant as you mentally try to win too much too quickly or if the bank is pressure sized the issue of being too cautious when you need to be bold will inevitably strangle you.

In the previous article I provided a scale of bet sizes for both win. and place betting which will keep the amounts bet in proportion. This is a "must have" approach as I am intending to tie the bet size to the price I have assessed and by following the scale I will not be having any silly "I think I will double the bet" type of wagers, either through overconfidence or just plain chasing losses during a losing streak.

In recent weeks, mainly due to damp tracks in Perth (a rarity), I have halved my bet size on a number of occasions, as per the scale, because I was not totally confident of how some of my selections would run with the sting out of the track, even though the tracks were still rated good.

There are also races where you f eel totally confident about everything while others cause niggling doubts. The worrying races are also good candidates for halving bet size because if they win you are still happy and if they lose you are kind of happy because you haven't lost as much as originally might have been!!

When I rate a field I am fairly savage in eliminating horses I feel are a WIN risk and sometimes they are quite well fancied. Naturally, I begin to feel like a bookmaker when I sense laying a horse is to my advantage whether it be for the win or place or both.

I will be laying those horses to lose about $50 (1 per cent of bank) when their prices for the win or place or both are poor value depending on the time available to perform the transactions, as my priority is to bet I not lay.

I will also be incorporating TAB flexi bet quadrellas on Perth and will use a simple approach of rating the degree of difficulty for each leg and structuring my combinations accordingly.

For example, I am writing this on July 31 and I have rated Race 5 with four chances and A selection 5 / 2, Race 6 with four chances and A selection at 3 / 1, Race 7 with five chances and A selection at 3/1 and Race 8 with four chances and A selection at 3 / 1.

Thus, the degree of difficulty overall is Race 5 as "'easiest", followed by Race 8 a smidgin in front of Race 6 and Race 7 as the "hardest".

The combinations I will take are:

AB(R5) x ABC(R8) x ABCD(R6) x ABCDE(R7) which totals 120 combinations or $60 on 50c units.

However, I will flexi bet them on the NSW TAB for $15 so if I get the quadrella I will receive 25 per cent of the normal $0.50 dividend. (It is worth noting The Puntmaster has an excellent article in the August edition of PPM where he outlines other approaches to the quadrella).

I have an impetuous nature so I will be incorporating a small all-up place double staking plan based around target betting for those times when I am not betting on Betfair and am at a TAB, or when I haven't seriously calculated the form on a whole field but still have a liking for one of the runners for whatever reason.

Finally, there will be a mishmash of doubles, quinellas and trifectas, dependent on the races involved, as each race is a separate issue depending on degree of difficulty and perceived value. Who said I don't like a bet! .

Most of my larger bets will be exchange dominated, especially on place betting. There is no point betting with bookmakers for the place (as anyone who goes trackwise is aware), nor with those prepared to bet you one-quarter the win price and introduce rules such as minimum number of runners 12, or "'I am betting win only in this event", and no doubt there would be other restrictions I am not aware of.

The majority of bets will be on my A or B selections; historically this is where I do best as a selector, although I would not be averse to backing any rated selection if its price is way out of line.

At the end of each month I will send Brian Blackwell my spreadsheets Covering all bets and in an early New Year article I will detail how I have gone for the first six months with discussion on the pitfalls and highlights of what has occurred.

I already am aware of a major pitfall of exchange betting and it revolves around greed. As you watch the screen and the constant changing of odds there comes a point where you must make a decision and take what is available as time is on the wing.

Unfortunately there are other punters across the world looking at the same screen, also waiting and waiting and if we all charge for the price offered we may not all be set for our full amounts or for fractions of those amounts.

Timing versus greed is another race and it is crucial you set yourself a criteria otherwise you may miss out entirely.

At the July 17 Perth meeting I rated Lady Go Bello on top but was not happy with the $1.30 on offer, even though it was competitive with the TAB which was $1.20 so I decided to stay out of the race but as they were about to jump $1.45 was offered.

I hit the keyboards at Michael Schumacher speed to take the $90 worth offered even though I wanted to bet $150. Someone or some people must have moved at the speed of light and gazumped me and all I got on for was $1.93!

I know why I missed out and it will never happen again if I can help it. By the same token, if I had taken the freely available $1.30 for the full amount I would have profited by $26 odd dollars BUT that's racing - it's all a judgement call and you must sing Que Sera Sera when the forces conspire against you.

The tide turned in the last with Toorak Robbie. I had a dinner appointment and could not wait until racetime so I bet $80 on the TAB for a place, expecting around $1.70 - $1.80 and, if really lucky, $2.

Just before leaving I thought I'd put in a bid for $40 at $2.50 the place on Betfair, without any  serious expectation of receiving the price. I "rode" Toorak Robbie home like you wouldn't believe in the car between Laverton and Williamstown and cheered at the $1.80 on the TAB as dinner was well and truly covered. The Punt Master rang me during tea to let me know $2.60 had been bet on Betfair and I was on for more profit.

I am sending this article to Brian on July 31 ... and my figures overall for the period June to July 24 show I have outlaid $886.75 for returns of $1,174.00 so I have started well but "'there is many a slip betwixt cup and lip" and I am not about to start celebrating just yet.

My next article on this experiment will show the real picture as by then I will have turned over several thousand dollars. Let's hope the article will not be a sad one!

Click here to read Part 1.

By Roman Koz