Don't you love betting systems? I do, writes Ian Sutherland. Yet I've lost count of the number of systems I started following, only to give up when I had too many on the go at the same time. True, each of them on its own might only take a couple of minutes to identify possible selections, but when you are running a dozen of them it can soon become a chore.
The other day I was clearing out some old copies of Clive Keeling's What Really Wins Money when I came across what I reckon must be the most micro of micro systems. It has a maximum of five bets a year, though in the past 10 years it's never used them all, and only once has it provided four bets. Of course, with so few opportunities, it won't make anybody rich, but it's so simple that the biggest risk is remembering to put it into practice.
Keeling calls it the Classic System, but I prefer Classic Favourite, because those two words tell you pretty much all you need to know. You back the favourite in the five Classic races, 2,000 Guineas, 1,000 Guineas, Oaks, Derby and St Leger with an increasing stake of 5,10,15,20 and 25 points, and stopping at a winner. If your "point" is £2, that would mean stakes of £10 on the jolly in the 2,000 Guineas. If the favourite lost, your bet would be £20 in the 1,000 Guineas, £30 in the Oaks and so on, giving a maximum outlay of £150 over the course of a year.
I'm comfortable with that amount, but find it easier to work on £10 a point, and 1-5 points for each race as needed.
The results for the last eleven years are here.
We can quickly see that the system had a winner every year, and the final column shows it has made a profit every year except for 2014, when we were down £5. Looking at the whole 11 year period, the Classic Favourite used an outlay of £360, returning a 47% profit (£317.12), and 88% Return on Investment. .
Clearly, a betting system with so few selections is not going to make a substantial boost to your betting bank. And I know Matt is right to have reminded us many times that backing favourites is a road to ruin. Just once in a while, though, it is an approach that can work. I'll be trying it out again this weekend.
- Ian Sutherland