More than two years ago I wrote an article in P.P.M. called 'Across The Great Divide' dealing with the famous 6-Point Divisor Staking Plan. The article drew enormous interest. That didn't surprise me, because this plan is always a great talking point.

I have used it for a long, long time, always in conjunction with a sensible selection method. I use a built-in safety brake to 'control' the 6-Point Plan in times of losing runs (and we all get them, don't we?). As I stated in 1987, I believe in this staking method and I recommend it, as long as punters ensure they operate it with sane and sensible selection methods.

The aim of the 6-Point Plan is to win six betting points every time you back a winner, or winners, whose odds total 6. Let's assume you are aiming to win \$6. You have a divisor of six, making your first bet \$1. Put simply, the procedure is just a matter of division into the amount you want to win.

So, you have a Target and you have a Divisor. An example workout: Your Target is \$12, and your Divisor is six, making the first bet \$2. If your first bet lost, the Target would be increased to \$14 (the initial \$12 plus the \$2 you lost) and your Divisor would remain the same, making the next bet six divided into 14, equalling \$2.30, or rounded off \$2.50.

Your second bet wins at 3/1, giving you a profit of \$7.50. You now subtract this \$7.50 from your Target objective of \$14, leaving you \$6.50 still to attain. As you won three points (3/1 winner) with the second bet you deduct these from the Divisor, so you now have a Divisor of three and a Target of \$6.50. This makes \$2.16, which we round off to \$2 for the next bet.

This should give you a clear example of how things work. Once you have achieved a full Target figure, you close the series and start again.

The Safety Brake comes in on the Divisor. Whenever your Divisor gets down to two or less you should introduce a new Divisor of six and a new Objective. Let me explain: If at some point you had a Divisor of two and a Target remaining of 4.5 you would then introduce a new Divisor (6) and add it to the two, making a new Divisor of eight.

You would then also bring in a new Target of 12 (assuming that was your initial Target figure), making a complete Target figure now of 16.5, and a bet then of eight divided into 16.5, equalling two (rounded off).

The Safety Brake can also be brought in if you consider the stakes are rising too sharply. The Divisor may be 6 and you could have run into a string of losers, taking your Target to, say, 60, calling for a \$10 bet. By bringing in a new Divisor and a new Target, you could bring things back to a 'calmer' level. You would then have, say, a Target of 72 and a new Divisor of 12, making a six-unit bet the next one.

Okay, now we have got the basics out of the way, I want to answer some of the many letters I have received regarding the 6-Point Divisor Plan. These letters come in all the time, so it seems there are still many punters out there keen on utilising this staking approach.

Don Girffiths, from Wellington, New Zealand, asked if the plan could be used along the lines of cutting off a series as soon as a profit was achieved, no matter how small. My answer to that is yes, it can. In your betting sheet layout, you can add another column, titled Profit and Loss. This will show your financial position after each bet.

Your opening bet may lose so the column will show \$2 with a (-) minus sign. The second bet, say, wins at 3/1 for a profit on the bet at \$2.50 of \$7.50. Take away the loss of the \$2 and you have a profit of \$5.50. You have not gained your Target objective but you can, if you wish, start a new series.

After all, the sole reason for betting is to make a profit; you won't go broke by taking a profit.

Peter Redford, from Parramatta in Sydney, asked me if the 6-Point Plan would work on a method that used only horses priced between 10/1 and 33/1. My answer is that in this bracket of prices the risk would be high of getting very long losing runs. I would expect only a small ratio of wins with horses in this price range, and my advice is to forget the 6Point Plan for these sorts of 'longshot' bets.

Another reader, Phillip Rogers, of Lakemba in Sydney, asked how many times the Safety Brake could be used. Any number of times. In tests I made some years back, using the selections of a Sydney newspaper expert, the divisor climbed to 27 during one run of losers! I was forced to bring in four new Divisors and Targets.

The next seven bets, though, produced five winners whose odds totalled 31, so all losses were regained and all objectives achieved. The point I want to make is that with sensible selections you should not be encountering massive losing runs.

In the past five years of my operation of the 6-Point Plan, my longest losing run has been 10, and several of these were pipped in very tight photo-finishes. Usually, I manage a nice, consistent flow of winners, none of them at flash odds, but all in a price range that consistently brings in good profits.

The conservative approach is recommended every time. Don't go too wild. If you fancy a 20/1 chance strongly then just back it for a place; you'll still be getting anything from 3/1 to 5/1 for the place about it should it win or run 2nd and 3rd. And with the 6-Point Plan. a success like this would be a dream.

Always - I labour the point-introduce the Safety Brake the moment you feel a bit shaky about what is happening. You may run into, say, four losers in a row and wonder if the fifth is going to go the same way. No panic. Just bring in a new Divisor of six and a new Target to add to the one you have. Then things get under control again.

Winners will come eventually-if you are following my advice in backing solid, reliable horses at fair odds. Never take unders, and always seek some value.

You will see from the following workout, the results of the 6-Point Plan over a series of 35 bets, during one month's racing covering Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. The bets were those from a selection method revealed recently by Jon Hudson, and which has been featured regularly. I refer, of course, to the famous Weight and Odds Method.

You will see that the longest losing run between winners was nine, so the 6-Point Plan was put to the test.

By Statsman

PRACTICAL PUNTING - JUNE 1989