Hugh Arthur told me at a trial 8yrs ago and I haven't forgotten " Rin Tin Tin can't go long twice and check down short" that holds true in most cases but as Dennis V said earlier never say never when you are in a trial situation. I have heard Lardy say multiple times watch the last 5-10 dogs in front of you if you can, don't think your dog is that much better than the ones that have just ran. If they are not having success on a test try something else and take a chance, if the dogs in front of you are having success don't try to reinvent the wheel. Seems like my luck I'm always in the first five dogs to run so I end up running a test the way I train on it. I have stepped out of the box so to speak and been the one to break a string of bad jobs by trying something different, that has gone both ways on more than one test. Kind of like Babe Ruth you don't hit home runs swinging for doubles but you strike out alot also.
While all of these varied training stratagies have merit (I was weaned on first bird selection but abandoned it years ago) there is simply no sure fire never fail method for getting the short bird other than having an excellent marker and even those miss the difficult short retired pheasant from time to time. As with most things sometimes it helps to have a little luck on your side too. Whatever method you choose as a trainer you should be consistent lest you confuse the hell out of your dog and you too. I am not clever or bright enough to experiment on gameday so I generally try to do things in competition the way we do them in training........lifer second bird selector that I am.
Chad we need to train on this more