WELL, the big bucks just keep on rolling in. Cast your mind back seven days and the debate in this column centred around whether to stick a straight tenner on the hot favourite for the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket or a fiver each-way on the better value second favourite.

We opted for the latter and as predicted the 8/11 hotpot Native Trail charged home. Meanwhile our selection, the admittedly fast-finishing Bayside Boy, trailed over the line in third having drifted from 5/1 out to 9s, without ever really threatening the winner – or, for that matter, the forecast. But the big takeaway from the race was this: the Dewhurst continues to play out according to the trends and might have been better value had four horses not disappeared from the original 12 that declared earlier in the week.

As it was, the sum total of our exertions was a return of £4. It's not going to buy a round of drinks at the end of the campaign, come to think of it, it's not going to buy the crisps and nuts either in Brexit Britain but it does lessen the losses which had crept back up again following our failed Chelsea experiment from the week before.

Having performed minor surgery on the figures there are a couple of plays this weekend in the respective top flights in Scotland and England that might just be worth following in an attempt to enter positive numbers for the first time this season. Both involve managers who have had their players batting above average for some time now.

The first is Callum Davidson whose St Johnstone team have started slowly but in mitigating circumstances. They host a Livingston outfit who sit just two places below them in the table but for whom the season has already started to look as if it will be a relentless grind.

Davie Martindale's side appeared to have turned a corner last month with a draw at Dundee and a 1-0 win over Celtic but those results could be measured against the respective merits of their opponents at that time. St Johnstone, on the other hand, have lost just twice since their August exit to LASK in the Europa League having mimicked last season's poor start and those defeats were narrow ones at the hands of Rangers and Hibernian – the top two going into the last round of SPFL matches prior to the break.

The head to head is weighted slightly in St Johnstone's favour at three wins and a draw – and while it is they who feel the stronger selection by dint of Davidson's burgeoning reputation, it is Livingston's miserable form on their travels which has brought just one win and one draw in seven away games which is the biggest tick in the Saints' favour.

The second selection revolves around Graham Potter, another bright young manager, who has his Brighton side exceeding expectations. But again, this is a selection based on paucity of opponent and the price relative to that ability; that's not to say that Brighton would not be worthy of consideration due to their fast start to the campaign but, they also happen to be playing Norwich City, and that in itself is too good to ignore. The newly promoted Canaries have lost all but one of their matches since they returned to the Premier League and fast-attacking Brighton have started in such fine fashion that at 13/10 they have to be the pick to complete the double.

Selections: St Johnstone (10/11), Brighton (13/10), Double pays: 3.391/1

Season's total: £-20