Debunking System Myths

I was flicking through an old Practical Punting magazine today and came across an article entitled "10 Super Mini-Systems". If you haven't heard of this publication it's been "helping" punters tip winners for over 25 years now. Basically they come up with systems for picking winners and sell them for several hundred dollars. Unfortunately the buyer never gets to see any historical results or a return on investment.

So, I thought I would put some of PP's Super Mini-Systems to the test.

I'll start with "Waiting For a Sign". The criteria for this system are:

  • A horse must have improved its position in each of its last 3 runs.
  • Cannot have won at last start.
  • Has won at the distance.

So here goes……

Wating For A Sign

Hmmm - a couple of winners in there, but a loss of around $90 for every $1 bet over the last 6 months. Looks like PP readers will be waiting a long time for a sign.

Maybe punters will have more luck with "The Local Champ":

  • Consider only big 2yo races (I built the system for all races over $100K).
  • Back any horse running on its home track.

I'm think right now - people actually bet on this kind of system. I'm not confident but here goes….

The Local Champ

A little better. Certainly a lot less runners. Shame there was only a handful of winners out of 130 hits. A loss of $55 for $1.

Holding out little hope for the Super Mini-Systems I jumped right down to "The Lucky Last" in the hope of finding some kind of redemption:

  • Must have won at track and distance.
  • Came first or second at its last two starts.
  • Is in the top three weight carriers. (I used horses carrying more than 58kg)

Drum roll……

The Lucky Last

….and fail. A loss of over $40 for $1

For those interested, these systems came from the September 2011 edition of PP. The author of the article - "The Optimist". They got that bit right.

As fun as it was debunking these farcical systems nothing beats the discovery of a winning system. For a winning system with a proven historical ROI check out: /racing/system-readonly/?id=22 or better still have a go at building your own.