Sometimes you have a week that makes you want to tear your hair out, and last week was certainly one of those (sorry), but us punters have a canny knack of bouncing back and this week will see the profits roll in once again (well, hopefully).

Inside information may be frowned upon in some circles but I wish I had known that my beloved Everton had the likes of Seamus Coleman back from injury before I backed Aston Villa to win, as the blues dominated the game before coming away with an unlucky draw. Spurs came back to their very best form as well, ending Wolves’ spell near the top of the table, while on the racing front Opinion Poll got mugged after looking all over the winner at Doncaster (and after I had nicked a little at 2.8 on BETDAQ and felt pretty happy with the world).

Looking back at the week it was a tough start and went downhill for me from then on! After my disastrous football bets on Saturday I took a day off on Sunday, but came back with a vengeance at Brighton races. Go Dutch was too short for me to back but as he sat off the pace with jockey Neil Callan looking supremely confident, I spotted a little 1.7 in running which was way better than his price and had to be taken and taken quickly. I didn’t get all of it (I am clearly not the only savvy punter on BETDAQ), but I did get most on, and watched as he came home four and a half lengths clear of a pretty ropey looking bunch. Being a greedy sort, it was obvious that Mucky Molly was a good thing in the 4.30 so I played up all my winnings at 3.0 and 2.9 only to see her given too much to do at the business end of the race before finishing second – if only she had been nearer to the pace, she may have got up?

Tuesday was another day, and I had taken the day off from the office to go to Folkestone only to wish I hadn’t bothered. Tablet in hand, I had the best of both worlds in looking at the horses in the flesh and logging on to my BETDAQ account to make sure I always got the ultimate value for money. I wouldn’t like to admit to how many times I have backed Avon River without success this season and I had given up on the four year old so wasn’t best pleased to see him score at odds of 11/4 (4.0 when I arrived on BETDAQ). The dark clouds on course matched my mood after the opener but things could only get better and they duly did as the week went on.

Football, amazingly, came to my rescue as it seemed so glaringly obvious that there was no way at all that Barcelona v AC Milan could ever be a 0-0 draw (famous last words), and even the 14.5 lay option for the no score was too good to refuse. Using a large part of my BETDAQ balance I was expecting to bite my nails until a goal was scored but this really was my lucky day as Pato scored the fastest goal in Champions League history after 25 seconds, giving me the fastest football winner I have ever had. On the horses front I am still looking at laying short priced favourites (does anyone else look at systems even though we all know most are complete gibberish?), but found they were few and far between this week – maybe it’s the going, or maybe its my luck but more of that next week – if I can find some to lay that is!

Looking ahead we have some classy racing this weekend as well as two of the first big football clashes of the season when Tottenham take on Liverpool and Manchester United play host to Chelsea. I have to watch I don’t use my Everton bias here and tip anyone playing Liverpool, so I will give that game a miss financially (should be worth watching though), but I am pretty convinced that Old Trafford will be too much of a cauldron for their London rivals. It may be me, but I have not been as impressed by Chelsea this year as I expected to be while United have been playing some flowing attacking football that looks almost unstoppable at times. I can see bookings galore in what will be a fiercely contested match but I am pretty confident of only one outcome and have just backed United at 1.87 though I will continue to sniff around BETDAQ in the hope of some better odds!

Changing sports to Cricket as the “summer” comes to an end and it seems likely England will beat India in the One Day this afternoon (Friday). The odds on an England win do no appeal enough to my greedy nature and I prefer the odds of Alastair Cook to be top England batsman at 4.8 on BETDAQ as I write. He is in good form, should bat early enough to get involved, and ought to have every chance of landing the bet at a decent price.

Racing revolves around Ayr this Saturday where the Gold Cup is the race of the day, but more of a lottery than a horse race, though with the favourite trading at 11.0 or thereabouts how can I resist having a second glance? I am hopeful that Below Zero will continue to trade at around the 44.0 mark to win and 10.0 to place in which case I cannot resist a little each way at those prices. Still only a four year old, he stays further than this six furlongs (has won over seven), is well drawn in my opinion in the 23 stall (of 27 runners declared), and may well attempt to make all thus avoiding too much trouble in running. Mark Johnston seems to have his string back in good form again after a bit of a lull, and off eight stone thirteen he has to have a better chance than his odds imply.

If I back another horse of my own choosing then Caspar Netscher will be the one in the 2.30 at Newbury Saturday. His consistency is admirable (never been out of the first four in seven races), with the form of his last run outstanding ahead of the Group Two Mill Reef Stakes. He was last seen when running away with the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes at York beating Lilbourne Lad fair and square (which is rock solid form) and was previously an unlucky third to 2000 Guineas hope Harbour Watch at Goodwood which would also be just about good enough to win this in which case he ought to be the proverbial good thing and will be my bet of the weekend.

Summary of this week’s bets:
3pts Manchester United to beat Chelsea Sunday
1pt Alastair Cook to be top England Batsman Friday ODI v India
1pt win 1pt place Below Zero Ayr Gold Cup Saturday
3pts Win Caspar Netscher 2.30 Newbury Saturday