Royal Ascot: Ground changed to soft for day four after 19mm of overnight rain falls on Berkshire track

Ascot to hold ground inspection at 12.45pm; going now described as soft as track gets 26mm of rain; Ground had been good to firm for opening three days; watch every race at Royal Ascot live on Sky Sports Racing

Racegoers shelter from rain at Royal Ascot on Thursday
Image: Racegoers shelter from rain at Royal Ascot on Thursday

Ascot will hold an inspection of the ground at 12.45pm after heavy rainfall left day four's racing at the Royal meeting in doubt.

The ground has shifted drastically to soft after heavy rain overnight at the Berkshire track, with a total of 26mm of rain coming down since Thursday's racing, when the going was declared good to firm.

Ascot posted on Twitter on Friday: "Following 26mm 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.

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"We are also looking at options to re-align the rail to avoid these areas."

The track has outlined three contingency plans ahead of 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, with 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 at 6.45pm.

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Heavy rain has put racing on day four at Royal Ascot in doubt and reporter Zoey Bird took one for the team as she ruined a lovely pair of white trainers to inspect the soft ground

Fast ground on the opening three days of the five-day meeting has seen an apparent advantage for those drawn high in the stalls and running close to the stand's side rail at Ascot.

    Just 2.5mm of rain fell on Wednesday night into Thursday morning, leading to the withdrawal of Hollie Doyle's Gold Cup ride Trueshan.

    Friday's schedule as it stands

    • 2:30: The Albany Stakes (Group 2)
    • 3:05: The King Edward VII Stakes (Group 2)
    • 3:40: The Commonwealth Cup (Group 1)
    • 4:20: The Coronation Stakes (Group 1)
    • 5:00: The Sandringham Stakes (Handicap)
    • 5:35: The Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap)
    • 6:10: The Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes (Handicap)
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