Before betting for the day begins, it is worth spending a little time preparing for the day’s betting exploits.

As the saying goes ‘If you fail to prepare then be prepared to fail.’ or words to that effect.

In other words, a plan or strategy for the day should be created. All that is then needed is to follow the plan. In this way, there are no decisions to make in the heat of the moment during a race and no thinking required.

All this will have been taken care of in peace and tranquillity before racing for the day begins.

As a minimum, the following needs to be considered:

• Identify, using a tested and trusted system, all the horses that will be backed or layed that day.

• Determine the stake of each selection using a tried, tested and trusted staking plan.

• Starting with the first selection, and continuing until all the selections have been considered, determine the course of action to be followed if a selection wins and the course of action to be followed if a selection loses. As a minimum, due consideration should be given to the following:

• Following a win, should betting for the day continue or should betting cease?

• Following a win, if it is decided that betting should continue, should stakes remain the same or should they be increased or decreased and, if so, by how much?

• Following a loss, should betting for the day continue or should betting cease?

• Following a loss, if it is decided that betting should continue, should stakes remain the same or should they be increased or decreased and, if so, by how much?

• Following the withdrawal of other horses in a race in which there is a selection which is to be backed to win or layed to lose, what action should be taken?

The whole point of creating a plan or a strategy, prior to the commencement of racing, is to enable the day’s future exploits to be considered in a cool, calm, logical and collected manner.

In this way, most eventualities can be catered for, in advance.

As a result, all that is required is to follow the strategy or plan.

There is nothing worse than having to make a time-critical decision during racing when the adrenalin is surging through one's veins. Invariably, this leads to costly mistakes.

Once the plan or strategy for the day has been created, it should be followed to the letter. Otherwise, why waste the time creating a plan or strategy in the first place?

It is recognised that a plan cannot be initially created which caters for all eventualities.

With practice and experience, however, a plan can eventually be created which will cover most of the eventualities which occur during a racing day.

The plan, therefore, should not be static. It should be amended whenever necessary and should become more comprehensive with time.