Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 12:52 26/07/2013
With ante-post favourite St Nicholas Abbey suffering a career-ending injury earlier in the week the 2013 King George V1 And Queen Elizabeth Stakes now looks at the mercy of Corine Barande-Barbe's 7-year-old Cirrus Des Aigles who clearly has the best form on offer in Ascot's mid-summer showpiece. The French-trained gelding has over 11lb in hand according to Timeform and despite a below-par performance on his seasonal reappearance when only fifth behind fellow rival Novellist in the Grand Prix De Saint-Cloud last month the son of Even Top is expected to be a different proposition on Saturday with that race under his belt and should be very difficult to beat at the 7-4 available with Totesport and Betfred.
8 Horses were declared for the Group 1 contest worth over £600k to the winner at the final declaration stage after Aidan O'Brien decided to withdraw both Ernest Hemingway and Chamonix who were possibly there to ensure an even pace for their illustrious stablemate, a job which is now obsolete. Trading Leather and Hillstar represent the Classic generation but their form to date is a million miles away from Cirrus Des Aigles length and three quarters defeat at the hand of the great Frankel last October, a fact which also applies to every other runner in the race indicating that the contest is there for the favourite to lose.
For each-way value hunters however it is another Gallic challenger in the shape of Very Nice Name who looks overpriced at the 20-1 on offer with several firms including Bet365 and Stan James. Both bookmakers are going a quarter the odds 1.2.3. as opposed to most rival companies offering the less generous terms of one fifth. Trainer Alban de Mieulle is expecting a big run from the 4-year-old who finished a creditable third behind St Nicholas Abbey and Gentildonna in the Sheema Classic back in March and a reproduction of that form could be good enough to chase the favourite home for a French 1-2.