Blogs & Opinion


Dawn Approach is a star in the Derby field, says Ed Chamberlin

Features - Ed Chamberlin Posted 30th May 2013 view comments

I have to confess to being gutted that Magician is set to miss Saturday's Derby.

I tipped Magician to do the Irish 2,000 Guineas/Derby double in last week's column more in hope than expectation but I still spent the first part of this week excited about my 50/1 voucher after he hacked up at the Curragh last weekend and it looked like Ballydoyle were keen to go to Epsom.

Dawn Approach: favourite for the Derby

Dawn Approach: favourite for the Derby

I don't think I've had a 50/1 winner since my odds compiling days at Ladbrokes when Shahtoush landed a touch for the same connections in the 1998 Oaks. The wait goes on.

In truth, I don't think Magician would have won the Derby anyway. He stayed a mile and a quarter well at Chester but looks so full of speed that there must have been a major doubt about the extra two furlongs.

I was happy to oppose Dawn Approach at Newmarket and had my fingers burnt so won't be repeating that failed trick again.

Ed Chamberlin
Quotes of the week

I was always taught to focus on the dam's side of the breeding when looking for stamina. In which case Magician should be a sprinter!

He is out of Absolutelyfabulous whose three wins were all over six furlongs and her dad was champion European sprinter Mozart.

He could well be a freak but at the moment the St James' Palace at Royal Ascot should be right up his street.

There is also a star in Saturday's field in the shape of Dawn Approach. I was happy to oppose him at Newmarket and had my fingers burnt so won't be repeating that failed trick again, even though he has similar stamina doubts to Magician.

Until last week's speculative Magician investment, I thought my only 'life changer' of the season was going to be Liber Nauticus in the Oaks, having steadily backed Sir Michael Stoute's filly through the winter. Again I'm more hopeful than confident after she failed to set the world alight like I hoped she would in the Musidora at York.

She's not flashy and I'm not sure that Epsom's gradients will suit her but Liber Nauticus has shown some serious ability at home and I'm sure she'll turn out to be the best of this field long term. I just hope she's ready at this early stage of her career to show her true ability.

It also looks like a really good renewal with plenty of Irish confidence behind Moth, I was very taken by Secret Gesture at Lingfield and Banoffee looked to have a serious engine at Chester.

It should be a great race and hopefully two fantastic days in the sunshine on Epsom Downs. Racing badly needs something to smile about after a brutal few weeks off the racecourse.

Winners

In contrast, football had two wonderful occasions in the space of three days at Wembley with Bayern Munich and Crystal Palace celebrating and two teams in yellow licking their wounds.

I'm looking forward to presenting games at Selhurst Park next season and Palace are 6/5 with Sky Bet to survive in the Premier League and 8/1 to do it in style with a top half finish.

Bayern Munich were worthy Champions League winners, defeating Borussia Dortmund 2-1, and Graeme Souness described them as a team with no weakness, so spare a thought for Pep Guardiola.

His challenge is to make Bayern the first side since AC Milan in 1990 to defend their European crown. Even his Barcelona side couldn't manage that. Sky Bet rate them as a 4/1 chance to pull it off.

German football is in the ascendancy and now it's up to the rest of Europe to catch up. Sky Bet's odds compilers clearly think that's very possible as Barcelona are joint favourites with Bayern at 4/1, with Real Madrid at 9/2. David Moyes' Manchester United are a 10/1 chance.

Managers and coaches from all round the continent will have been watching the final and plotting ways for their teams to reach that level.

Intensity

They have to find a way to match the energy, organisation and desire of these two well-oiled German machines. While other sides have pressed with similar intensity in fits and starts, these two keep it up for long periods.

This season the German sides have set the standard but I agree with Sky Bet that it's a gap that can be bridged and you know that after watching the final, head coaches around Europe will already have their plans in place.

It will be far harder to catch up with the two clubs' stature off the field. The fanatical support comes from the 'identity' both clubs have. Their ownership, organisation and philosophy means the club and its fans go hand in hand.

Add to that the core of home grown players, who buy in to the club's philosophy, and you have the perfect model for a healthy, stable football club.

The German core and identity is at the heart of their success on and off the field.

As we stand of the verge of probably the biggest summer spending spree in European football history, with Monaco already leading the way, clubs would do well to remember the model that has taken Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund to the top table.

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