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Jack's blog attempt


Enjoying discussing racing I tried a blog some time ago and it went down like a lead balloon. Note sure whether it was the content or posted in the wrong place. Perhaps somebody could enlighten me, or at least put me out of my misery :handgestures-thumbup:.

Just call me Jack (in fact you can call me what you like, except don't call me late-for-dinner), just an elderly gent keen on horse racing as a hobby, fascinating in its complexity and a real mental challenge day-to-day, with the possibility of making it a full time profession if you can learn to find winners and even more important find them at the right odds to bet on.
I have been trying for 68 years now and I'm getting there slowly (could be too late for me).
This Holy Grail racing safari has reached this point (Safari, so good! As they say, and by the way I am not averse to any experienced big game hunters joining in to lend a hand; brain really):
An SOS plan is required to tackle the process - Selection, Odds & Staking (the only facts that really matters is the percentage strike-rate and the odds obtained on winners)
Consider any race (more than 12 runners though and it becomes unwieldy and not only that the book margin can be high) where more than three quarters of the field are seen to have a rating such as RPR. Then note all the runners in the short odds half of the market but not in the betting forecast at longer than 10-1. The most popular tip in a race starred* for identification (if nothing else it should highlight how difficult it is to beat the book at their own game; betting to what is seen as an advantage that is).
Backing every runner in a race gives a 100% chance of selecting the winner. Therefore, backing one runner, or several, in race gives a percentage chance of the whole depending on their ability. I will attempt to assess the individual chance of selections and calculate their fractional odds accordingly. This then will be my 'fair' price and just below the shortest odds to strike a wager at.
You need a bankroll or at least a commitment, which should be as much as you can readily afford to lose, although not too little as betting in this manner for small amounts is largely a waste of time and effort (the bankroll of course may be theoretical as part of a paper trading exercise, and in any case you don't need to set a bank aside but rather to commit to being prepared to lose a certain amount over a period of time).
All qualifying selections to be backed, up to a maximum of 3 in a race, to obtain a 'graduated 1% return of the bankroll' (by heck that's different), meaning that the aim is to win 1% of the bank on every race less stakes, but only so far as an overall profit is attainable. Results will be shown to Starting Price as being the most auditable return, even though it might have been possible to take a better price from the book or exchanges.
(Amended Friday, Jan 12 07) To start with identify an amount of money you are prepared to risk betting. Then the guiding principle remains the same; the aim being to win a return of 1% of the bankroll on each race. Achieved by dividing the odds calculated for any selection into the amount that represents 1% of the bankroll (Note: We are staking to the odds we believe any selection merits and not the betting forecast or the actual market). No bet on any single selection at less than 6/4 or where the market is shorter than the odds calculated. This means that if the odds calculated are correct the return will be 1% of the bankroll less monies staked and if the odds on a winning selection are greater than calculated the return on the race will be greater than 1%. (I think I have beaten that to death now and even I understand it).
Under consideration is a ploy to have a second type of wager in a race where any qualifying popular tip is backed in a straight forecast with any other qualifying selection, up to a maximum of 3 bets, to a 1% stake on each (have to see how it goes).

I have been using my own tissue to compare with market odds since 1979. A tissue is just the opinion of the compiler and has no other merit than that, no different than a private handicap but expressed as prices. You can either compile your own or use one of the commercial services. I tend to use RPR these days as it is free, incorporates foreign form and seems to be as good as any.

I only consider non-hcaps (actually hcaps instead nowadays as the OR provides a par for each race) with not too many runners and those runners where the RPR tissue price is no greater than 10/1 (outside that I don't believe anybody can compile accurate prices) (nowadys I mainly keep to the market expected range). Several runners can be backed if the odds are viable, coupled to obtain a return of 100 points. Selections are supported at their tissue odds and not market odds.
The best thing to do is cherry-pick a good example the 2.10 Navan today:
1 140 11/2 15pts SP 3/1 No bet
2 138 8/1 11pts SP 11/2 No bet
3 143 4/1 20pts SP 13/2 Bet lost = -20 pts Justpourit
4 151 7/4 36pts SP 11/8 No bet
5 133 50/1 (not considered over 10/1)
6 140 11/2 15pts SP 10/1 Bet Won = Return 165 pts Young Desperado

That's how I currently employ RPR as a tissue using a simple arithmetical calculation changing the ratings into percentages, then into fractional odds and finally the points to return 100. I should add that if the points/price of the viable selections total more than about 80 points that race is eliminated as a betting
Nearly forgot, there is a problem with this system if not more than about three-quarters of the field have a rating as it skews the odds.


Jackform Jackform i am unsure of the difference between a blog and a thread. I have never tried the former but have over the years started plenty of threads on the different sections of this forum. My motivation being that i have a genuine interest in reading other members thoughts on the topic(s) concerned. I have no interest in my own, why should i when i am already well aware of them.

Some of mine have attracted little activity and i concluded that this was down to the topic concerned being of no interest to other members which is always fair enough. Others have proved successful with plenty of reply's and responses. What i have learned is that if you wish the thread to progress then as the originator you have to lead from the front via your own contributions and maintain a decree of tenacity at the outset. Also the way you respond plays a part, i am receptive to suggestion but less so to being told and i suspect this may be so for the majority of us.

Anyway best of for yours, and Re using the RP Bfc the copy deadline for this is 4.0 pm the day before, so perhaps worth keeping in mind possible changes which the compiler cannot factor in at the time with a going change being a good example. Once i have identified a horse of interest i do not attempt to create a tissue for the whole race but rather just a minimum value price for my selection, although of course part of this process includes being aware of the dangers from the opposition as well as the negative aspects involved in my pick ( and there are always some) but i find this way helps to simplify a difficult task.


On this Forum it depends in wether it is an invite only Blog. This Blog is open and usually you can contribute of you so wish.
It's beginning to look like we have invited ourselves to this one but mick mick did say he was unsure what the difference was hence my reply.


I was just responding to Jackform Jackform first sentence, which read as a question. :) It is an interesting one, i like to see members starting there own threads but at the same time if you confine your posting to your own thread and never contribute to those of others then they may feel less inclined to take an active interest in yours.? A bit of both is probably best.?
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Jack has said the intention is discuss and interact over different aspects of his and presumably others interest - namely horse racing - so its open house and knowing Jackforms past record - most interactions and responses will be welcomed.

I like the SOS plan as it the bones of what most begginers miss
An SOS plan is required to tackle the process - Selection, Odds & Staking (the only facts that really matters is the percentage strike-rate and the odds obtained on winners)

I totally agree - the winners for some might in fact be backed places but as long as the ratio returned is linked to stakes and odds no one can be hurt - its trail and error at the outset but nothing wrong with paper trailing initially to see if the ideas work.

I would add - I treat dutched bets as one bet splitting the stake over the number of bets contained in that races.

or you could ( I dont) have a number of full bets at the in race as long as the bank / stake records show the number of bets - 1 stake one bet - this is heavy on the SR but hey what ever lights your candle
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Hi Jackform Jackform, well it's certainly started off well in terms of interaction.!

My query is regarding your staking plan. You say that you look to make a profit of 1% of the bank on each bet, won't that lead to exaggerated swings in the bank, as a run of winners will mean that the profits will be rapidly increasing but conversely a run of losers will take you longer to recover as your unit potential profit will be getting smaller ?

Best of luck with your blog btw,


Kevin Pullen has an interesting piece in the racing & football outlook today, " The most fundamental requirement of betting is being able to keep going, no matter what happens - to be still in the game tomorrow".


dave58 dave58, the wife went shopping, I fell asleep on the recliner and got bXllXcked for it - now this! Racing for me is a pleasant pastime now (84 soon hopefully)as I do not expect to make much money even if successful, so my stake is small. The modus operandi is a variation on this letter from a football enthusiast who inquired whether in my opinion a basic VDW race assessment would be suitable:

It may come hard to dedicated form students, but the simple fact is multiple banking works regardless of the number of runners covered, form is meaningless. If it was not for the logistical problems you could back every runner in every race and still profit. Very few listen let alone understand!

When employing retrieve staking the biggest mistake made is to attempt to retrieve all losses. Look at the facts, if you are anywhere near competent you ought to be able to identify a selection method that if combined with level stakes would provide no worse than a 10% loss. Just backing favourites forecast between Evens and 2/1 should provide that. Consider that, long term for every 100 points the expected loss is about 10, so why is it necessary to retrieve every point lost at once – it isn’t!

There is the problem of the losing run, but with a reasonable size bank we know it is not all going to be lost often. Months could go by without a losing run that will break the bank, although eventually one will arise. How is that to be dealt with?

Simple, spread the risk to cover more than one horse. If the risk of a losing run is small with one bank. How much smaller is the risk of a losing run in two banks, or three, or four banks at the same time? If losses start to creep up share the losses with the other banks and that will reduce the stakes in any one bank, at the same time increasing chances of finding a winner.

For example, two banks were run on a racing campaign. The average price for bank A 6/4 and B 5/2. Bank A had a losing run of nine bets yet overall there is a small profit. If one bank had been used with a normal retrieve staking plan there would have been a loss, but using two banks to spread the risk makes the campaign profitable.

In the European football championship three banks were used, one for each outcome – home win, draw, away win and a fourth bank, referred to as the profit bank. Of the three working banks two of them are always in deficit and they show a nett loss between them. The profit comes from the profit bank.

Each match one of your banks has to achieve the aim owing to the fact that one of the three results has to transpire. The aim for the campaign was £20 from a £500 bank. Each match one bank achieved the aim, and about 80% of the time a little of the previous losses. £20 won goes into the profit bank and any remainder comes off the previous losses of the bank that had the winner.

After 25 matches you are guaranteed a profit because 25 x 20 = £500. From that point on any returns added to the profit bank are guaranteed nett profit. The idea is to keep the three working banks balanced by spreading the risk. Although they are always negative they still have enough in them to provide stakes to produce profit in the profits bank.

It is trickier with horse racing as you do not have a guaranteed winner each time. One way round this is to concentrate on small fields (one bank per outcome); another is to look in areas where the odds compensate.

If you backed the first four in the betting in handicap races with ten runners or less, your expected strike-rate would be about 70% with better odds of about 3/1 on the favourite. This takes the pressure off as the four banks you are running are able to absorb the losses better.

Another way may be to back all the selections on VDWs narrowed field via the mechanical process advised. Yet again one bank per outcome where the odds again are likely to be better as the races are generally more competitive owing to the class of races concentrated on.


Blogging about staking is not really where I want to be although it is an integral part of a wager because if it is complicated it diverts attention from the most critical component of selection. If you don't find winning bets then the odds and staking don't matter. Level stakes is easy simple and gives a clear indication of overall profit or loss. However, there is a strong case for employing a level return strategy instead:

Staking to Obtain a Level Return

There is no logical reason for staking the same amount at 50/1 as for 1/2, and it is surely a fact nobody bets in this way. This is because the level of commitment is not determined solely by the amount of the potential loss, but also by the percentage chance of its occurrence.
The product of these two factors might be called the ‘risk’ factor. If we take it, for the time being, that the odds on offer are a representation of the percentage chance, then the risk in betting is indicated by the amount of RETURN, not the amount of stake.
The following tables illustrate the two different approaches to the stake-win-return equation:

Stake_Odds_% Chance_Return (Risk)


In (A) the return varies in inverse proportion to the percentage chance of winning, whereas in (B) the stake varies in proportion to the percentage chance. In (A) the longer the odds the greater the risk that is taken and there is no good reason for adopting this procedure. On the other hand (B) maintains a sensible stability of risk taken.
We can see from this bias against long-odds selections in staking plans is the direct result of the risk increased risk involved with these when using the level stake approach. So many punters dismiss selection systems, that (i) may be perfectly good but which come up with long-odds selections, and (ii) concentrate on short-odds favourites (e.g., small fields only, non-handicaps only, races that are often won by the favourite etc).
But losing runs of long-odds selections need not have disastrous consequences. If a staking plan is adopted that is based on level returns, a number of long-odds loser is no worse than a single odds-on loser.
An interesting consequence of using level stakes as a standard is the effect on the ‘naps’ tables. Those correspondents who make long-odds selection take greater risks, and are thus likely to finish at the top or bottom of the table (one good outsider can clinch it), whilst those who select odd-on favourites are certain to finish in the middle (although they will keep the readers and the editor happy with a good number of winners).
All the above ought to convince how the error of level stake betting can affect the selection process, which should be independent, and returns, which should be constant and not variable, as well as invalidating any staking plan.
The only really contentious suggestion is in equating odds on offer with percentage chance, they are, of course, not equivalent, and indeed it is the difference between them that determines what is good value and what is not. The Level Return approach must be modified to take account of this.

The following sets out how one should proceed when determining stakes:
Set a return level, say 100 units. This is your theoretical aim.
Select on the basis of what you judge will win.
Ask yourself, or calculate what a fair price would be for this selection – odds that give a fair reflection of its chance.
Calculate the stake that would be required, at the fair odds, to achieve the theoretical return.
This is the stake to employ irrespective of the odds on offer.

If the odds are significantly poorer than the fair price you may decide not to bet. If you proceed when the odds are poor, you are still getting the satisfaction of backing what you consider will win and you do so at your own chosen ‘risk level’.
If it wins the actual return will be less than the theoretical aim. If the odds are better than the fair price, you will receive a return higher than your theoretical aim. This is where profits are to be made. Incidentally, this resolves the old problem of choosing between the most likely winner of a race and a ‘value’ selection which is an outsider. Both can be backed, with sensibly proportioned stakes, using this system.
If you are unable to make a level return profit, and are determined to retrieve losses by using a system, and have the resources to fund it, you can simply increase the theoretical aim by the amount of your losses up to that point. This is superior to staking plans that do not take into account the varying chances selections have. But it is a tedious way of showing a profit. A level return profit is the ideal, and there is no substitute for it.


This what I historically did and reading it back I might start again using this method when backing in races that rely purely on ratings .i.e in races where not a lot of thought has been given to the race


Bearing in mind that you have invested considerable time in finding your selection and your calculations have rated and highlighted all the live horses – your selection and the nearest threats to your selection in the race. It is prudent and advisable to back the second rated horse as well as the first rated horse, thereby hugely cutting the odds against defeat. I refer to this as “Power Pairing”. Professional gamblers do this in various different ways, but the simplest way is to back the 1st and 2nd rated horses as calculated and clearly highlighted in your careful study of the horses on offer. This is an old idea and has different names but it is employed by most shrewd gamblers.

In order to operate the Power Pairing system of backing i.e. backing your selected 1st and 2nd rated runners as found by your calculations we need minimum odds of 11/4 for both selections – that’s 5.5 combined decimal odds. You can either, simply ask the bookmakers for the odds on offer and as long as you get combined odds of 5.5 to 1 or over, you will be working within the rules. Alternatively you can work out the odds to return ratio and you can then clearly see what percentage profit to stake you will be achieving. Without this knowledge you are betting blindly and there can only be one eventual winner, the bookmaker.

Good gamblers bet in many different ways, but I prefer to back my 1st and 2nd rated horses with stakes that are calculated to return approximately the same return should either horse win. This is a way of further minimising risk and keeping all emotions out of the system. If you are always trying to obtain an equal winning return on both of your selections, you do not care which selection wins and therefore should not harbour any favoritism to either selection.

Power Pairing minimum value calculations

If for example our preferred horses are offered at odds of

1st Horse odds of 3 to 1 and my 2nd Horse odds of 4 to 1

I simply add 1 point to each selection (this is to allow for stakes)

1st Horse odds of - 3+1 = 4 and 2nd Horse odds of - 4+1=5

Then to calculate if this race that will offer a value opportunity?

Multiply together: 4 x 5 = 20 – (Original odds 4+5) = 9 = 20 - 9 = staking value 11

( + 1 for stake )

I require minimum combined staking value of 5.5 (2.75 x 2) – so if I can obtain combined odds of 5.5 or better I consider it a value bet. So 11 – 5.5 = 6 points – this would be a good value bet for me.

To simplify the value finding aspect of this method further I have created a small value finding calculator (spreadsheet)

Power Pairing Value Finder

Value = Horse A odds x Horse B odds = Total + 1
H1 oddsH2 odds
Min Value Req =


Value can be found from many different combinations of odds, but by utilising the above table we can clearly and quickly see if we have a value opportunity and the size of the opportunity.

Power Pairing Staking (I regard this as 1 bet not 2)

Once I know that I have a betting opportunity I split my single stake in the following manner

If the current bank is £ 10,000.00 and my single 100th equal stake £ 100.00

If selected Horse 1 has odds of – 3 to 1- I will add one point 3+1= 4 stakes

If selected Horse 2 has odds of – 4 to 1- I will add one point 4+1= 5 stakes

Collective odds of 5 + 4 = 9 = £100 Divided by 9 = 9 equal stakes of £11.11 – now in order to obtain the same value if either horse wins - you must reverse the monetary stakes to Horses i.e. Horse 1 is backed as though its Horse 2 = Horse 1 has 5 x £44.44 staked on it and Horse 2 has 4 x £55.55 staked on it.

Result if either horse wins -

Horse selection No 1 had 5 x £ 11.11 = £55.55 placed on it giving a winning return of £222.20 (includes returned stake)

Horse selection No 2 had 4 x £ 11.11 = £44.44 placed on it giving a winning return of £222.20 (includes returned stake)

Not all combinations of odds will result in exact equal same returns, but you can always get approximate same returns.

As you can see, you do not need large odds to create a decent profit. Any time my selections have combined odds of 5.5 to1 or better I know that I have good chance of increasing the bank at a minimal risk.

Ok don’t say it. I know they both cannot win, but if either horse wins you are showing a healthy profit, that is then built back into the bank to increase future staking. By sticking to the equal staking plan and utilising Power Pairing you are removing any emotive feelings from the process and you will be well on your way to achieving your goals. Eventually you will treat all losses as just one more step on the road to the next winner. You might even welcome a loss in the knowledge that the next winner is one step nearer – but this idea might be just stretching the theory to its limits.

Getting on

Getting a bet accepted is easy. Any one over eighteen can place a bet. But getting the required amounts of stakes accepted at acceptable odds can be very difficult and will quite often be impossible.

On betting days I always ensure that I will have adequate available time to wait until just before the off to check if my required profit is available. If you can get the odds that you require – you should always take the odds, it is the only way to ensure that you can calculate your winning returns and thereby ensuring that you remain within the rules. There is no point placing a exchange bet at odds of 8/1 or whatever and then leaving and hoping / trusting to chance that it drifts out to that point. There is more chance the odds will tighten not lengthen.

Always remember the decision to place a bet is yours, you have invested your time into this process you do not need to be rash or hasty now. If I cannot get the value that I want i.e. an aprox minimum 30% projected profit on my stake or better I will not bet.

When you first start backing in the logical way, you will walk away from a lot of bets and you will miss a few winners. But if they do not win at acceptable odds they would not have been at viable odds to sustain the bank and therefore risking a bet on these selections will actually be a risk to the bank. What you will gain through this process is a better idea of quickly seeing which races you need to be investing in if you are going to be successful. If the morning news papers are showing a race with a field of about 5 runners and a favourite of 2/1 or less, the chances will be that you are not going to able to operate profitably in this contest so perhaps the time required would be better spent on another race or activity.

I would suggest that as you get more proficient at operating the Logical Race Calculator and your returns increase, you should not have a regular pattern of betting with the same bookmaker, it is advisable to chop and change between bookmakers to prevent them from being risk averse and therefore offering you lower odds. This is particularly relevant with book makers that allot you a membership number or code, or that you have an account with. They will have your account history on a computer screen in front of them. The bookmakers will instantly be able to see all your betting records. It is obviously in their interest to offer you the worst possible odds that they can get away with. After all bookmakers can only profit by taking money in from the betting public and then retaining as much of it as possible.

All that remains to say is that whatever you take from what you have read in this book and found on the accompanying CD, I know that you will have found something of value, something that will help you to remain in profit.

There is a lot to take in and absorb here. Initially you may feel daunted by the whole system. That is why I have separated it into key elementsPersonality - Right Race -Minimum Odds – Value – Staking and Bank – Race Calculator - Power Pairing etc.

All the elements work individually and can be used independently of each other or be combined into other ideas. Each element is a powerful tool on its own, but when used together they form a powerful profit making system.

All the elements have been tried, tested and proven for their ability to

  • Find Value Winners
  • Protect the Bank
  • Grow the Bank,
When you first begin to practice you will find it easier to practice on small field races 5 runners maximum. Small field races will rarely provide you value odds. But by practicing on small fields of horses you will quickly build up a knowledge base of the systems and how to work them quickly and effectively.

So, take it slow gain patience and collect your winnings


Blogging about staking is not really where I want to be although it is an integral part of a wager because if it is complicated it diverts attention from the most critical component of selection. If you don't find winning bets then the odds and staking don't matter. Level stakes is easy simple and gives a clear indication of overall profit or loss.

Staking to Obtain a Level Return

There is no logical reason for staking the same amount at 50/1 as for 1/2, and it is surely a fact nobody bets in this way

Sorry Jackform Jackform, but that is exactly how I bet, it works for me long term, surely the whole thing is based on how your method is better than the average punter's perception, so if you have an advantage then why not take full advantage of it
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