Clerk of the Course Chris Stickells has called an inspection for 12.45pm ahead of the fourth day of racing at Royal Ascot citing “marginal” ability to race. Consistent heavy rain has fallen at the Berkshire track since racing concluded on Thursday.
With the going having been amended from good to firm on Thursday to soft, heavy in places by 11am on Friday, Ascot subsequently released a statement which read, “Following 26mm of rain since racing yesterday, and with a few false patches of ground which means the ability to race may be marginal, an inspection. has been called for 12.45pm. We are also looking at options to realign the rail to avoid these areas.”
The change in the going has seen some significant non-runners declared during the morning, including the Ed Walker-trained Primo Bacio (Ire) in the G1 Coronation S. and Supremacy (Ire), who is one of five scratchings in the G1 Commonwealth Cup.
Ascot has also issued a list of three options as contingency plans pending the outcome of the inspection.
The first is that racing goes ahead as planned today. Alternatively, racing will take place today on the straight course only with a five-race card which would include the Coronation Stakes moved to the straight track. The two lost races would be rescheduled for Saturday.
Finally, if racing is abandoned on Friday, Ascot could hold a 10-race card on Saturday, including the Coronation Stakes, Commonwealth Cup and King Edward VII Stakes.
If the third option is taken, all 10 races will be shown on ITV. The provisional order of running is:
2.30pm Commonwealth Cup
3.05pm Coronation Stakes
3.40pm Diamond Jubilee Stakes
4.20pm Jersey Stakes
5.00pm King Edward VII Stakes
5.35pm Wokingham Stakes
6.10pm Golden Gates
6.45pm Queen Alexandra