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.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Alan Smith

Smith wants Welbeck at Arsenal

Danny Welbeck could be the man to replace Arsenal's injured striker Olivier Giroud, says Alan Smith....

Phil Thompson

Thompson: Lampard an icon

Frank Lampard is a football icon and can be proud of a ‘stellar’ England career, says Phil Thompson....

Latest News RSS feeds

Live transfer updates

Angel di Maria signs for Manchester United, Everton complete move for Samuel Eto'o and Michael Dawson joins Hull City.

Di Maria blasts Real 'lies'

Manchester United signing Angel di Maria has claimed he never wanted to leave Real Madrid.

Van Gaal not shocked by defeat

Louis van Gaal insists he was not shocked by Manchester United's 4-0 defeat at MK Dons in the Capital One Cup.

Arsenal v Besiktas preview

Arsenal and Besiktas meet at Emirates Stadium with their Champions League play-off locked at 0-0 from the first leg.

Everton secure Eto'o deal

Everton have completed the signing of Cameroon international striker Samuel Eto'o on a two-year deal.

Features

If the 106-cap career of Frank Lampard is regarded as an England disappointment then so is everyone's since 1966

If the 106-cap career of Frank Lampard is regarded as an England disappointment then so is everyone's since 1966

They say there’s no worse feeling than losing in a final. Presumably that’s exacerbated when there’s so much at stake. One look at the forlorn figure of Lionel Messi ascending the steps at the Maracana this summer would certainly suggest as much.

Man Utd confidence 'shot' after 4-0 MK Dons defeat, says David May

Man Utd confidence 'shot' after 4-0 MK Dons defeat, says David May

Louis van Gaal’s first task in the wake of Manchester United’s shock second round Capital One Cup defeat to MK Dons is to rebuild the team’s broken confidence, says former United defender David May.

Where will Angel di Maria fit in at Manchester United?

Where will Angel di Maria fit in at Manchester United?

It was only May that Angel di Maria was receiving the man of the match award in the Champions League final. It was his slaloming run beyond three players that provided the catalyst for Gareth Bale’s crucial goal, putting Real Madrid ahead in extra time and all but securing La Décima.