The weather for the last day of Royal Ascot is not expected to be as bad as it was on Friday.
Clerk of the Course at Ascot After the fourth day of Royal Ascot was nearly ruined by rain, Chris Stickels is hoping for better weather on Saturday.
The Ascot track was judged to be good to firm at the end of play on Thursday after three perfect days at the track.
However, the skies opened overnight, and it rained all day Friday, with Stickels reporting that he had never seen such amounts of rain in his time at Ascot.
A lengthy luncheon inspection took conducted, with a delegation of officials, trainers, and jockeys doing a detailed examination of the track as the ground became soft, then soft, heavy in parts, and finally heavy.
The go-ahead was finally given little over an hour before the first race, thanks to many rail tweaks to avoid the worst of the ground.
Stickels, on the other hand, does not anticipate such an uproar on the final day of the Royal meeting.
“We have experienced 43.5 millimetres of rain since racing yesterday, which is undoubtedly a 24-hour record for Royal Ascot in my time as clerk of the course,” he stated at the end of the day.
“Obviously, we ended up on sloppy ground, though things weren’t quite as awful as I had imagined. It’s still tough going, with jockeys reporting soft and heavy ground.
“The forecast calls for the rain to stop later this evening, though when that will happen is uncertain because it keeps looping about us, and for a better day tomorrow.
“It won’t be hot and sunny, but it will be dry with the possibility of a shower.”
However, the abrupt change in weather resulted in a slew of non-runners, with six absentees limiting the Commonwealth Cup field to 15, while the Coronation Stakes, the only Group One race on the card, was without both the highly regarded Primo Bacio and Oonadatta.
Due to the bad ground, five high-profile runners have been ruled out of the Hardwicke Stakes on Saturday, including Aidan O’Brien’s Tiger Moth and Mogul, as well as Andrew Balding’s Bangkok.
Emaraaty Ana has also been removed from the group. (This is a brief piece.)