It was tears last week for Sheffield United fans as a season that promised so much ultimately ended in huge disappointment. After looking odds on to gain promotion with a top two League finish they finished the regular season poorly and the failure to beat Stevenage at home saw them having to compete in the end of season play-offs.
After making the final and watching Huddersfield miss their first three penalties in the shootout, it looked inevitable they would finally secure promotion but it was not to be and they are left to face another term in League One.
BetVictor have made the Blades 5-1 clear favourites to win the title but with manager Danny Wilson struggling to hold on to many star players and a reduced budget on the cards, things might be harder than the oddsmakers expect.
With the three clubs coming down from the Championship not appearing to be overly strong, we are seeing money for Swindon and Crawley who had good seasons in League Two to make a big impact at this higher level.
Sheffield Wednesday have been introduced at 20-1 to win the Championship next season; Leicester City who were fancied for the title this season are understandably favourites again and the early 8-1 has quickly contracted to 5-1 under the weight of heavy support.
We noted a promising finish for relegated Chesterfield to give them hope for a quick return and they are 8-1 to win League Two. Rotherham have been all the rage though and our 8-1 has been backed off the boards with the Millers now 7-2 for title glory.
New manager Steve Evans is familiar with success and given a blank cheque book it’s easy to see why punters have latched on to the Millers, especially with Rotherham moving to a new stadium. But at the current prices, I prefer the Spireites.
The Epsom Derby is the sporting highlight of this Diamond Jubilee weekend and while the Queen will not have a fancied runner in the big race, she will be in attendance to watch last month’s 2000 Guineas winner Camelot trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien bid to maintain his unbeaten record.
A very impressive winner of the Racing Post Trophy on his second juvenile start, Camelot was sent off an uneasy 15/8 market leader at Newmarket on his reappearance, and you sensed connections felt that if the colt was going to be vulnerable first time out over a mile was the time.
Bred to be suited by the step up in trip on Saturday, it is difficult to see the colt not extending his winning run to four, given he has the best form on offer going into the race and looks sure to make up into a top class middle-distance colt.
As with Sea The Stars a couple of years ago the colts’ class saw him through over a mile but whereas the John Oxx-trained star went off 11/4 for the Derby Camelot will start at odds on.
Clare Balding will be presenting for BBC Television for the final time, given the race will be shown by Channel 4 in 2013, and her brother, Andrew, will saddle recent Dante winner Bonfire who might give the favourite most to think about.
Bonfire was just touched off in a French Group 1 as a juvenile and on a line through winner French Fifteen has a bit to find with Camelot on Guineas running. He stuck to his task well on the Knavesmire and there should be more to come from a horse with just three starts.