AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

Do the figures ever lie ?


King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Ascot 3.50


The ratings gurus will be all over Cirrus Des Aigles today.

Timeform have him rated 142 against closest rival Ektihaam on 131 which, on a literal interpretation, would make him an odds on shot rather than a 6-4 chance for this afternoon’s King George at Ascot and the official ratings are equally as conclusive.

In fact, no one is going to argue his form isn’t superior and his second to Frankel in the Champion Stakes last season is as good as it gets in the formbook.

But form and ratings are past tense and we are dealing with the future tense today.

If you are looking to take him on, then it has to be in the belief that he isn’t as good a horse as he was. And that’s possible.

His seasonal reappearance was delayed because of a strained ligament and when it did come it left many questions unanswered. He finished fifth to Novellist at Saint-Cloud, although not given a hard time once his chance was gone.

Supporters will argue he’s needed a race before to put him right, which is true, but the question remains is the seven-year-old, who is the highest rated horse in the world, as good as he was?

If you think yes, then bet accordingly.

For me, I’m not sure and would rather have a couple of points on both Novellist and Hillstar – younger rivals who are hitting top form.

(stake between 0.5 and 10 points)
2 points to win NOVELLIST (3.50 Ascot)
2 points to win HILLSTAR (3.50 Ascot)

(-10 points Thursday)


The train crash in Spain this week was an horrific tragedy and thoughts are very much with all those affected.

Early indications suggested the train may have been travelling at more than twice the speed limit at the time of the crash on Wednesday night.

And further evidence will be forthcoming as the train’s black box recorder has been retrieved from the wreckage near Santiago de Compostela.

The train driver has been arrested and justice will take its course.

On a wider issue two questions.

(1) It is surprising that train technology isn’t advanced enough with GPS tracking etc to prevent ANY driver from going too fast.

(2) As in this country high speed trains are driven by a single driver. It’s a huge responsbility with hundreds of passengers onboard. Having two people in the cab must surely reduce the risks of incident and human error.