It was a strange old week for my finances with football the main killer of my retirement ambitions, but nothing new there I suppose.  It all started well enough on Saturday, my small bet on Everton to beat Manchester City not really doing any damage (apart from the total boredom of watching the game of course), and then my biggest bet of the week on Crawley coming home to roost though the family did wonder why I was getting excited over a Division Two score update – 2.5 was duly snapped up as I risked the majority of my BETDAQ balance, and the beers were on me that evening I can tell you!

Of course, while keeping my football scores updated on the tablet I also had one eye on the horse racing and rather wished I hadn’t bothered. I bottled my lay bet on Farhaan at Newmarket as the price was bigger than I would have preferred (3.65 not the 2.0 I was looking for), but he did get beaten despite cruising early doors, and it is possible all is not 100% in the John Dunlop yard so I will be watching my future bets (and the stable’s horses) accordingly, for at least a week or two. My biggest bet on the gee gees was on Best Terms and I was sitting pretty with my bets on with BETDAQ at 2.7 and 2.6, as I saw her price shrink to 2.5 at the off. Yes, I did lay a little of my bets back at the lower price but sadly not enough of them as she ran a stinker back in fifth, and I doubt she wins another race as she is not big enough to take them on next season. 

One horse I nearly missed on Saturday was Valery Borzov who landed the Haydock sprint at odds of 12/1 – but I got some 15 on BETDAQ! Always well regarded, he is a sprinter like his namesake (who won Olympic Gold over 100 metres if memory serves), and had run some decent races in defeat at Goodwood and Ayr as well as winning a lesser handicap at Hamilton. Considering he was racing off a mark two pounds lower than his last run, I just could not believe my luck with his price, but as usual, I didn’t have enough on much to my disgust.

Naturally, with the Champions League midweek fixtures there was easy money to be had (famous last words), and a short priced BETDAQ treble looked glaringly obvious to me on Tuesday night. It was meant to be like taking candy from a baby and all went well thanks to Benfica and Real Madrid but I am sure a Manchester United supporter can explain to me how on earth they drew at home to that power of world football, FC Basel? Three goals scored was all good as the red devils walked off with a point but conceding three to a team most punters have never heard of is unforgivable, and more importantly, cost me my bet!

On Wednesday I went on a football recovery mission (no, I don’t know why either), and AC Milan (1.6), Marseille (1.7) and Barcelona (1.25) landed my short priced treble and brought a smile back to my face again. All had comfortable wins so no sweating on results for once but I did learn the salutary lesson that nothing is a certainty in this life. 

With the racing mediocre to put it politely earlier in the week, I have been waiting for the weekend when we have no end of contests, bets, and options. I will be backing four football teams to win in singles (and maybe an accumulator), all glaringly obvious, but a profit is a profit however biog or small.  Starting in the top division, an angry Sir Alex Ferguson must be a sight and he will not have been happy with their mid week performance. Poor Norwich seem sure to suffer the backlash this Saturday and even at 1.19 with BETDAQ, it does look like money for old rope.

Manchester City have other problems but a squad to cope with them and Blackburn could well be their next victims, again on Saturday afternoon. The home side did beat Arsenal but are still rooted near the bottom with the fans calling for the manager’s head, home advantage is negated and an easy away win is certainly on the cards.

Bristol City are finding it tough in the Championship and look there for the taking by Blackpool at odds of 1.77 (BETDAQ) and I will finish with Crawley once again who should see off troubled Plymouth and look decent value at 1.34 (BETDAQ).

Moving on to Sunday (for a change), and the little matter of the Arc De Triomphe meeting from Paris.  Seven Group Ones on one race card is a bit much for my little brain as is trying to compare French form to English – thank goodness we can cross refer to DAQMAN to make sure I have it half way right at the very least. 

I admit to knowing zero about trainer C Ferland and the racing Post handily tell me he trains in France (pretty big area that), but he looks to have a classy two year old on his hands in Dabirsim who has his next run in the 1.55 Sunday, the Group One Grand Criterium over a mile. A son of Japanese bred Hat Trick, he was well bought at 30,000 Euros and has now won close to quarter of a million pounds in prize money and could well add another £172,000 here is his last smooth victory can be repeated, though how long his owner can hold out when the big guns come calling with blank cheques is another question entirely?

I have a lot of time for trainer David Simcock, but why he looks like allowing Dream Ahead to take on Goldikova over seven furlongs here is frankly beyond me.  Firstly he has now won five of his eight races, ALL over six furlongs, and secondly he is taking on perhaps the greatest mare the racing world has ever seen!  Goldikova comes here looking for her fifteenth group one victory and won the same race last year, so I can only assume connections are looking for something to advertise him as a future stallion, be that beating Goldikova, or more likely finishing runner up to the wonder mare.

As for the Arc itself at 3.15 over a mile and a half, how do you second-guess a race of this quality with so many possibles in a list of the best three year olds, as well as the older generations. Sarafina is a worthy favourite and has been trained for this race all season, while So You Think has his reputation to live up to and will certainly be in the mix.  However, if they go off at a decent pace (unlike most French races), then St Leger winner Masked marvel is in with a shout and at odd around the 16 mark on BETDAQ, a little win and place bet may well pay outrageous dividends.

Summary of this week’s bets:
1pt win each 1pt win accumulator
BLACKPOOL to beat Bristol City Saturday 1.77
MANCHESTER CITY to beat Blackburn Saturday 1.64
MANCHESTER UNITED to beat Norwich Saturday 1.19
CRAWLEY to beat Plymouth Saturday 1.34
(prices approximate and correct at the time of writing).

2pts Win DABIRSIM 1.5 Longchamp Sunday
1pt Win 1pt Place MASKED MARVEL 3.15 Longchamp Sunday