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23/7/2004 edition

Ten Golden Betting Rules

A successful punting acquaintance of mine, lets's call him "John", as he certainly would not like to be publicised world-wide, has been making a very good living from the punt for many years now. He is very secretive about the methods he uses and even some of the bets he has interstate. However, I believe he has at least one team member in each interstate betting ring very skilled at getting the top odds available. Rumour also has it that a big win was had on our Special in Cheltenham, Flurry's Gem which won at a starting price of $15.00.

Here are some of John's Golden Rules. They are not in any particular order. I am pretty much quoting what he has told me in casual conversation though I am certain "John" will understand if I have slightly misquoted him.

1. "Completely ignore betting ring price fluctuations. You go to the racetrack to back horses at top odds, not be a follower."

2. "Be very wary of any horse that rises in weight and also gets a bad barrier draw."

3. "Always be in control of the odds you receive. You avoid the tote as much as possible. My professional friends do not bet on the tote though I do know some well to do punters with more money than sense who put big bets on the tote on horses they know next to nothing about. It's this money that makes prices firm on the tote, not insider knowledge."

4. "Back a horse each way at $5.00 or shorter in an eight or nine horse field with the bookies because the one quarter odds for the place bet favours the punter. It is no good on the tote. Not only will you get a much shorter price for the horse but you won't get anywhere near quarter odds for the place."

5. "Never back a horse at double figure odds each way. Statistically you are getting poor value for the place. It is far better to back two or three horses at good odds for the win in the same race."

6. "Back horses that are well weighted and are on the up form wise. Look very carefully at horses in the first four or five runs of their preparation."

7. "Always take careful note of a horse's best runs. Work out what chance it has of repeating that run. You will pull in some huge winners that way."

8. "Always know what price you want about a horse. It is like going shopping. If potatoes are $10 for a kilo you leave them alone. Just the same with a horse. If the price is too short leave it alone.

9. "Study. Study. Study. Get to know the horses well and get to know the trainers' habits."

10. "Love losing. Learn to accept losing runs as a normal part of winning. There is no such thing as a "get out" race. Losing runs of 10 or so are absolutely irrelevant to me. I once went 40 bets with only one winner. My selections were fine. It was just bad luck. I didn't panic or change anything. I stuck to my guns. Sure enough I got a few good priced winners including one at $21.00 on the nose , and those losses turned into profits."
Reprinted from Punt to Win , December 8, 2000.

This edition of Punt to Win:
Ten golden betting rules
Get those betting odds
Betting favourites in small fields
Money talks - Rosehill, Moonee Valley betting tips from the track
Future winners - unlucky horses
Punt to Win 16/7/2004
Punt to Win index

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