The staking plan you use
is way more important than ANY selection criteria you choose......
in fact, probably by a factor of greater than 10.
If you don't have a methodical
and mechanical staking plan that takes in to account possible losing
streaks and average strike rates and prices YOU ARE DESTINED TO LOSE
- THERE IS NO OTHER POSSIBLE OUTCOME.
If you are going to bet
"willy-nilly" with no mathematical approach or targeted
method you will lose as sure as the sun is going to come up tomorrow.
Having $20 on this and all up on that and then 50 on something else
at odds on to get back the first 20 is a sure fire method of giving
your money to other people.
The selection criteria
may well make up the "Knowledge" aspect of what you are
trying to achieve but a well thought out and executed staking plan
will make up the Dedication, Persistence, Patience and Discipline
part of the equation - and the boring time consuming matter of "record
keeping" then takes scare of itself if you are using, say, and
Excel spreadsheet to control the staking.
There is no quick fix.......NONE
that I have come across in 50 years of playing with this stuff. If
you want to turn a profit in the long term from racing, I am absolutely
convinced it is all in the mechanics of the staking and how you are
mentally equipped to deal with the losing streaks that MUST come along
on a regular basis.
It all comes down to personal
patience and what your hopes are - what percentage do you want to
win over the year this year and how safe can you go without making
the whole "game" - and it is a game - so boring that it
drives you back to your old ways of losing?
I have found over many
years of "fiddling" that a half percent of the bank
running target on all bets that you have, keeps it interesting
enough to persist and yet gives you a long enough "run of outs
possibility" so you don't break your bank on a too regular basis
chasing previous losses to wipe out any previous profits you may have
made... especially if you make the commitment to withdraw the original
bank amount if the bank triples in value.
To be even safer and allow
yourself an enormously long run of outs, you can drop back to a quarter
of one percent but this can be way too boring even for me and I am
as boring as the best of them! Why would you do this? Well, if you
are using a method that occasionally throws up a long shot at say,
better than 14/1 and you are using a "cap" of $5.00 to estimate
the win bet amount you are going to use, the rewards can be pleasantly
large if you allowed yourself the luxury of an extraordinarily long
run of outs that a quarter percent target permits!
I have also found it is
especially advantageous NOT to bet on anything less than $2.50 as
a losing streak sequence "losses catch up" situation is
then more controlled and causes less stress with the difference in
escalation of amounts needed to be wagered significantly different
at a $2.50 minimum rather than the "traditional" $2.00.
(Don't bet odds on and don't run up stairs!) The maximum
losing sequence then generally gets out to 13 or 14 from around 10.
A three dollar minimum works even better but reduces the betting action
per day by a marked number (and so reduces the profit possibility
- see - it's all linked isn't it? Risk and reward)
The interesting thing you
find if you adopt this idea of really concentrated staking rules,
is that at the end of the day it doesn't matter to you which horse
wins - who the leading trainer or jockey is - where they're racing
- it all becomes numbers and number crunching. Your past values of
what made racing fascinating to you will quickly fade and it just
becomes a matter of progression from one race to another, day after
day, hour after hour.
These are the choices I
make - they may not suit you. You may choose to have the romantic
values of watching a Black Caviar or Atlantic Jewel win race after
race and marvel at "the majestic ability of the beast" (generally
at $1.04 or $1.10 if you are lucky) as I used to with horses like
Kingston Town and Vain and Octagonal and Eye Liner.
The best demonstration of
the spreadsheet staking approach I use can be found with The Grail
Methodology on this site. The Minimalist Risk II version is what I
am currently using in conjunction with the MultiMeth selections and
it goes okay. However, this is not necessarily the "bees knees"
of staking approaches. It's just what suits me.
Whatever method of selection
you use, hopefully with an estimated strike rate of greater than 28
- 30% - please, please - develop a staking plan that allows you the
flexibility to follow it through to the (perhaps bitter) end and still
keeps you interested in the selection method you have chosen. Who
knows? With a concentrated dose of discipline you may even turn a