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Quaddies – how to attack them

Firstly, I’ll post any bets for Monday by 2 p.m. and quaddie bets by 4.30 p.m. today. Update now posted here

Sometimes it can make you tear your hair out, and other times give you a spectacular payout – those elusive quaddies! How many times have you nailed three winners only to miss on one leg. We have all been down that road a few times. So how the heck do you strike those big ones? One sure way is to take the Field x field x field x field for 5% and pray each leg is won by a real outsider. Take Geelong as an example yesterday. To take the 11x12x12x10 combination in $1 units would have cost you $15,840. You could have watched a good Netflix movie while it was run, not watched a race knowing you were going to strike it, then check your account afterwards that would have shown a $1,055 return. So probably not the smartest way of attacking quaddies long term!  Maybe on a Melbourne Cup day quaddie, where all four legs are usually very open with a huge pool, you or a syndicate could go as wide as you can in each leg for a lower percentage bet and just enjoy the ride. In last year’s cup it paid $13,756, the year before $25,194, and in 2017, $19,859. You wouldn’t be able to retire from the proceeds but at least you could have bragging rights that you struck the big Cup Day Quaddie!

Some punters will look to anchor a favourite in a leg, then take as many as they can afford to then hopefully snare those couple of roughies that get up. The trouble is, most other punters will be doing the same. What I like to do is find a race where that favourite is a realistic chance of getting beaten then go searching to find the ones that could win it. But before you even do that, you need to ask yourself this important question…how much will you be spending on this quaddie? For subscribers, in my suggested quaddie bet or sometimes two bets, I try and keep the spend under $50 for a percentage bet. So let’s say you budget $50 per quaddie and you average four of those a week, you are going to need around a $5,000 bank or a hundred times your average bet, to make sure you can cope with the certainty that you are going to lose a lot more quaddies than you win. You just have to make sure your wins cover those losses. If you haven’t got that $5,000, or the size you need, then start working on it. Or you can bet the minimum 5% on them to reduce your spend to $25 or less on each one and when you strike a big one, put that into a bank account just for your quaddies. Don’t leave it in your TAB account because you know what will happen to it!

So let’s work on a $50 spend per quaddie. Go hunting for the meetings with the bigger pools. Victoria always have the biggest pools, followed by Sydney ( on a Saturday )  then Western Australia. Yesterday, the Geelong Pool got to $288k, and the Pinjara pool in Western Australia with $102k was by far the second biggest. When New Zealand racing starts up again, the pools are likely to be around $30k for midweek ( Friday initially )  and Sunday  meetings and $50 to $100k on Saturdays. Hopefully the TAB guarantee some pools even to a safe amount, then punters will bet into it more. Time will tell though.

Anyway, back to working out your quaddie selections. It takes me at least four hours to analyse each leg properly, so before I start doing that, I need to look at all the favourites in each leg to see if they are beatable, as that is what most other punters will be taking. If they look winners, I’ll pass on that quaddie and save myself wasting 4 hours. I’ll take Geelong as an example from yesterday. In the second leg, Dark Alley was a $2 favourite and had a couple of negatives against it – it was coming off a 6 week break and was going to get back in a moderately run race. And the first and third legs looked pretty open, and I was very keen on the $3 favourite in the last leg. So it definitely looked like it was worth further investigation. But I wanted to wait to see how the track was playing as it can often suit swoopers or wide runners when the track gets wet there.

The first three races were won by runners off the fence or 3 wide in the running, which made me thing that Dark Alley was going to be a decent chance of winning now and to just leave the bet. I was all set to just say to subscribers, no suggested quaddie today because of that, until in race 4, the winner came from 9th one off and drove home along the fence to win! So I decided to go with it and posted two bets, one for $24 for a 10% spend and a saver for $12 for 10% for a total of $36.  There were 11 runners in the first leg, so I took eight there and a $10 shot led all the way so off to a nice start. Then Dark Alley’s race came up and he did get back and they didn’t go hard, but he swooped into it on the turn and was just a class above them with us still being on him, and the second and third runners.

So it wasn’t going to be the big payout we were after but we were in with a chance of at least getting our money back. Ex Kiwi runner Power O’hata, third up, led all the way at around $8 in the third leg. So it was up to Translator or our saver, La belle Jude, to get something back. Translator won well in the end with La belle Jude chasing him home for second. The quaddie paid $1055 for a $105 return for the $36 spend. If Dark Alley had got the stitch, our payout would have been around $500, which is what we are at least after. You just have to know that you are going to lose all of your bet, or just get a small return on most of your quaddie bets, and have the bank in place to get you through those losing runs.

One of the biggest factors to improving my quaddie bet strike rate was making sure I looked at the replays and form of the first eight favourites in every leg, plus any runners outside of that who had moved down in the market. The reason I do that is because when I lose on a quaddie, I always go back and see how I missed it. There’s nearly always a reason you can include or not a include a runner, but by seeing what you could have placed more emphasis on, such as being third up and fitter, back on a preferred track condition or some other factor will help hone your skills. Or I may have been satisfied that I was justified in leaving it out as you can’t take them all as I have explained earlier.

But most of all, just like most punters, I really enjoy the challenge of striking a decent quaddie like the one many of us got a slice of the $15,000 on Saturday. Maybe use that money to kick off your ‘Quaddie Betting Bank’. If you are a subscriber, do your own homework and maybe mix and match or take both your quaddie and my suggested one. But always bet within your budget.

There is much more I could add to this article, so if you have any comments or other ideas on attacking quaddies, let me know.

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Good luck,


Enquiries to Neil at formpro@formpro.co.nz or text or phone 027 352 6402

About Neil Davis

Neil is New Zealand's leading form analyst with particular expertise in the area of horse racing sectional times. He has had a life time interest in racing. The Formpro website first started back in 2008 - 10 years ago!