Hoof It (far right) was 14-1 for eagerly anticipated Diamond JubileePICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Hoof It to miss Black Caviar race at Ascot
HOOF IT, who had been a general 14-1 chance for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, has been ruled out of the race by trainer Mick Easterby.
The five-year-old, who had finished fifth when favourite for the Duke Of York Stakes on his seasonal debut, will now be targeted at the Darley July Cup when he may belatedly meet Black Caviar.
Easterby said on Thursday: "Unfortunately Hoof It won't be running at Ascot. He is fine in himself but he looks a little dull in his coat and he isn't scoping very well.
"Looking back he might have had a slight infection when he ran at York. All being well we are hopeful he'll be able to take on Black Caviar in the July Cup."
Ascot clerk of the course Chris Stickels is predicting the meeting to start on ground "on the easy side of good" and is bracing himself for more rain at the weekend.
He said: "As has been well publicised we've had a lot of rain, 58mm between Sunday night and Tuesday morning this week. The track has taken it pretty well and is in good condition but I would have been calling it soft yesterday.
Chris Stickels: preparing for rainPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
"I expect it to be good to soft on the straight course by the end of the day but there's up to 20mm forecast before the weekend. However, the track does dry quickly at this time of year so I would anticipate we'll be starting on something slightly easier than good."
Regardless to what conditions are, Royal Hunt Cup gamble Edinburgh Knight will be lining up in the 1m handicap on Wednesday.
His trainer Paul d'Arcy said: "He will definitely run. I'd prefer good, good to firm ground for him rather than good to soft ground but they have all got to cope with it. I have trained the horse for this race though so he will run in it."