Does your normal selection process provide you with a constant stream of winners? Probably not. But can you, over a year, average around 20 to 25 per cent winners, at decent odds?

If so, the Springboard 20 Plan could be worth looking at. It originated in America and has been around for some 20 years. I first saw it about 15 years ago and it intrigued me. I felt it had enormous potential.

Well, other things intruded and I never did get around to fully testing the method. In more recent months, out of latent interest, I have taken another look at the Springboard 20. My opinion: It could be a real winner, as long as you bet carefully and don't overdo things by using it race to race.

With the Springboard 20, you know exactly what you will be betting any given day, and you are never in peril of losing your bank. This is most important, I'm sure you'll agree, because no-one wants to risk everything.

The rules are easy to follow: You bet in level stakes until you are 20 units in front. As soon as you reach this profit figure you start betting in amounts double the first figure in the profit column. That means if you are 20 units ahead you bet in four units (double the two in 20). If you get 30 units ahead, you bet six, etc. A series is closed off once you reach 60 units profit.

Let's assume, then, you have reached 20 units profit. Your stake is now four units. Maybe you strike a 5-1 winner. That would give you another 20 units profit, taking your profit figure to 40. Your next bet is now eight units.
From 50 to 59 units profit your bet is 10 units. But do call a halt once you reach 60 ' and start a new series. This is the sensible approach.

With this second series, you can, if you wish, increase the amount of your 'unit' bet. Maybe in the first series you bet \$1 per unit; in the second you can bet \$2 per unit. With the increased unit price, you would bet level stakes until you reached 20 units (\$40) profit and then start betting in eight units.

This can be a very good plan for place bets. If you can hit with place bets 70 to 80 per cent of the time, the Springboard 20 will help you to really capitalise on them.

Now I realise that some punters will not want to bother with trying to win 20 units at level stakes. If you're in this category, then all you do is skip that aspect of the method and leap onto the Springboard immediately, theoretically assuming you have made that initial 20 units profit.

You'll need a starting bank of \$20 and a reserve bank of at least another \$80. As you'll realise, you can only go nine bets without striking a winner before you've blown the bank of \$20. Remember that if your first bet misses at \$4 you then revert to \$2 bets because your bank will have gone below \$20 and the first figure of the bank's total would be 1.

The following is a recent example of the Springboard 20 (taken from a 20 units bank achieved level), the actual bets being the 'best bets' of a well-known tipster in a Sydney newspaper.

 Bet One: \$4 Lost Bet Two: \$2 Lost Bet Three: \$2 Lost Bet Four: \$2 Lost Bet Five: \$2 WON 2-1 Bank now: \$14 Bet Six: \$2 Lost Bet Seven: \$2 WON 5-1 Bank now \$22 Bet Eight: \$4 WON 4-1 Bank now: \$38 Bet Nine: \$6 Lost Bank now: \$32 Bet Ten: \$6 WON 2-1 Bank now: \$44 Bet Eleven: \$8 Lost Bank now: \$36 Bet Twelve: \$6 WON 3-1 Bank now: \$54 Bet Thirteen: \$10 WON 2-1 Bank now: \$74 Series ends.

Test this staking plan yourself and see how it works for you. Test it with your own selections, or those of your favourite tipster. It could be a real winner for you, and don't forget to give it a good go with place selections.

By Des Green

PRACTICAL PUNTING - APRIL 1989