Ascot to inspect for day four of Royal meeting

This afternoon’s Royal Ascot fixture must pass a lunchtime inspection following torrential overnight rain.

Rain began falling before Thursday’s card reached a conclusion and has barely stopped since.

A total of 26 millimetres of rain had fallen the Berkshire venue up to 11am and it was still coming down – with more forecast throughout the course of the day.

The going is now officially soft, heavy in places, with clerk of the course
Chris Stickels calling a 12.45pm inspection to assess the chances of racing
going ahead.

A view of standing water on the ground before day four of Royal Ascot
A view of standing water on the ground before day four of Royal Ascot (David Davies/PA

A going update on the British Horseracing Authority administration site read: “Due to a few false patches of ground on which the ability to race may be marginal an inspection has been called for 12.45.

“We are also looking at options to realign the rail to avoid these areas.”

If racing does get the green light, there are already a number of significant non runners on day four of the meeting.

Clive Cox’s Commonwealth Cup pair Supremacy and Diligent Harry will not take part, while Primo Bacio has been taken out of the Coronation Stakes.

The track outlined three contingency plans, before the inspection, with the first option being that the fixture is given the go-ahead and everything proceeds as initially planned.

The second plan is for racing to go ahead on Friday on the straight course only, with the Group One Coronation Stakes switched from the round course to make a five-race card, and the Duke of Edinburgh and King Edward VII Stakes run on Saturday instead.

The third possibility is that racing will be called off completely on Friday, with the three Group races – the Coronation, King Edward VII and Commonwealth Cup – all transplanted to Saturday to make a 10-race card, kicking off at 1.20pm and continuing until 6.45pm.

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