Several readers have been in touch following my articles on multiple betting on trifectas and First 4s. All raised interesting points.

In future issues of PPM, I will deal with the issues they brought up but I thought I’d mention in this month’s article a letter from Jack of Toowoomba, who told me he makes money from trifecta betting and was keen to raise his investment but without relying on ‘banker’ standout selections.

Jack’s lament was that bankers had let him down too many times. He prefers to have at least two or three horses to bet on to fill the first couple of placings.

I can understand Jack’s predicament, though at least he has had the good sense to recognise a problem and do something about it. Currently, he’s outlaying around \$50 to \$70 a race on trifectas and restricts himself to one First 4 on Saturday. For the purposes of the First 4, he tries for big dividends by betting on those races with large fields.

Bearing in mind Jack’s need for two or three horses in the first couple of slots, I’ve come up with a couple of combinations around the \$150 mark (yes, this  month we are treading into deep water and forking out some heavy-duty cash!). I will be assuming fields of 12.

A 2x8x12 linkup costing \$140 (assuming \$1 units). It goes like this:

AB/ABCDEFGH/ABCDAFGHIJKL

With this approach, either A or B needs to win the race. Then, for 2nd, you have one of those plus seven others, and for 3rd you have 12 horses covered, although you’ll have only 10 left if you’ve struck the first two placings.

This is a pretty good combination, provided you are as sure as you can be that A and B can lock up the win. You do need to think carefully about the value angle. You don’t really want A or B to be a hot favourite because this will more than likely kill any chance of a decent return.

We now move on to taking three horses for 1st. The combination I am suggesting will cost \$144 and it assumes you are taking a total of 10 into 3rd.

It is a 3x7x10 combination, which goes as follows:

ABC/ABCDEFG/ABCDEFGHIJ

As you will now realise, you need to get the winner with A, B or C. If you do, then two of those are used for 2nd, along with five others. If one of this group gets 2nd place, the remainder are used for 3rd, along with three others.

In fact, you will have eight horses running for 3rd because two of the 10 have already filled 1st and 2nd.

This approach gives you a very nice cover in any race. If you’ve nabbed 1st and 2nd it’s comforting to know that you have eight horses going for you to fill 3rd. Even in a big field this is a pretty good number.

Once again, do your homework and try to work out what sort of minimum and maximum dividend you can expect. You are betting \$140 so you need to think about getting at least \$200 plus; much more hopefully. This means your bankers for the 1st place need to be at good odds. Not much use taking a hot favourite and another couple under 5/1.

This means you will bet selectively. Choose the race very carefully, and then choose your bankers with just as much care and attention to detail. You need to strike in races where you are confident the favourite can be rolled.
Now, a First 4 approach in which you use three horses as bankers to fill 1st and 2nd. It will cost you \$144 and it assumed you will cover 11 horses for 3rd.

It goes like this:

3x3x5x11

The combination is as follows:

ABC/ABC/ABCDE/ABCDEFGHIJK

So, get the winner from A, B or C and you will have two of them moving into the next slot with two others for 2nd.

If one of this group runs 2nd, then the remaining three go into the next slot for 3rd, with six others.

In all, you will have nine runners going for 3rd. A good position to be in as far as the bettor goes.

A key thing to remember with any multiple combination that demands a big outlay is to ensure that you give yourself a chance of receiving a big dividend. There’s nothing worse than landing a trifecta or First 4 and receiving a niggardly payout that doesn’t even cover the cost of the bet.

The bigger your outlay, the bigger the dividend you’ll need to make a decent profit.

NEXT MONTH: Back to basics with low-priced trifectas and First 4 combinations . . . from \$4 upwards!

By Jon Hudson

PRACTICAL PUNTING – OCTOBER 2008