The CHITRE effect at work: Investment (Rs 60) & dividend (Rs 5,895)
Thank you, Mr Chitre!
There was a time when I was intrigued by numerology, and the role it played in horse racing.
Until 20 years ago, there were many gamblers who took keen interest in the science (?), and one would see them scattered all over the racecourse poring over Cole through a thick pair of glasses, drawing charts and tables, and filling them with the results of a race just run in an effort to predict the winner of the next race. Sadly, that breed is almost non-existent today.
The 'speed & pace' guys used to scoff at them, and being in the minority they would rarely defend themselves using the muscles of the larynx. But once in a while they scored such a huge hit that would astonish and silence everybody around, and which perhaps put them ahead for the day, unlike the speed guys who lost on more days than they won.
I got especially interested in the methods of one Mr S S Chitre, an RWITC member whose membership badge number was six. While working in the Capital earlier, he had also served as steward of the Delhi Race Club (DRC). Understandably, after retirement when he moved permanently to Mumbai, racing was his major pastime.
Though affluent (RWITC members used to be 'genuinely' affluent in those days), he was a very small Tote punter, rarely investing more than Rs 10 in a race. But his successes were remarkable--both in consistency and dividends. I can truthfully say that he was the first man I came across at the racecourse who, although on a smaller scale, was probably a net winner in this game. I still remember some of his huge scores, one of them being Artaius, a Rashid Byramji-trained colt who was sent out at 25 to 1 in some prestigious race at Bangalore (perhaps Colts' Trial).
Artaius was my so-called "handicapping certainty" of the day, but at 25-to-1 there weren't too many who agreed with me, including, at first, Mr Chitre. But as soon as the previous race was run, Mr Chitre applied his numerology technique to its result, and was shocked by what he saw. "I am sorry for making fun of you for liking Artaius," he said to me, "but this chart now shows it has an excellent chance to win, go double your bet." He also matched his words by doubling his own bet, putting Rs 20 on the horse. Needless to mention, Artaius won like a champion that he later turned out to be.
Unfortunately, I have forgotten most of what I learnt form Mr Chitre, but two things he shared with me have stuck because almost every day I get to see some proof of their power.
One is about the jackpot, the other is about the tanala pool.
Chitre pointed out to me that in jackpot's five legs at least one number repeats itself. This happens with such remarkable regularity that it is more of a rule than exception. If you can, using your hose-picking skills or intuition, guess which numbers are likely to do the 'repeat' trick, you can save a lot of money, and in racing, like in any other field, money saved is money earned.
The tanala trick is more interesting, and incidentally, is the reason why I am writing this article.
Chitre had this theory that unfancied horses figure in the tanala (1-2-3) more because of the numerological influence than their form, sometimes taking the tanala dividends sky high. And he claimed this numerological principle is very simple: Two of the three horse numbers would add up to give the number of the third horse in tanala.
He would therefore take one fancied horse (generally first or second favourite, or sometimes my handicapping choice), one numerological choice (based on his esoteric technique) and then look for a horse number that would fit with the formula above.
For example, if he took #9 (fancied horse) and # 7 (his numerological pick), then he would look at #2 & 16. If #16 was not there in the race, then his three tanala horses would be 2, 7 & 9, and he would construct his 5-rupee ticket (tanala was Rs 5 in those days) using the three numbers. If #16 was in the fray, an extra option for him would be some combination of numbers 7, 9 & 16.
If you just keep your eyes open and watch, you will be shocked how often this principle works! Even till this day, I am intrigued by the repeated occurrence of this phenomenon.
So when on Sunday at the Pune racecourse, a friend asked me what I had tipped for the race (the race to be run was Jalnawala Juvenile Million) in the MiD DAY column, I said, "Ocean Princess, Palazzo Grazioli and Starrer."
"Oh come on," the friend got a little irritated, perhaps too lazy to search these names in the 18-horse field, "just tell me the numbers."
"The numbers?," I said, "okay, 10, 6 & 16."
And suddenly I remembered Mr Chitre and his tanala principle. As luck would have it, when I went back to my seat, a mobile Tote operator was just attending to the man in the next chair. Generally, I don't make unplanned, impulse bets, but I could not resist the temptation this time.
I bought a tanala permutation of the three numbers, paying Rs 60 to the Tote operator. And sure enough, the Chitre numerology principle was at work! Oddswise, the least fancied of the trio (#16, Starrer) won, and if you want to know what dividend it brought, check out the image uploaded above.
"Thank you, Mr Chitre," I said under my breath as I signed the I-T form before collecting the money.