down cross

Another 5mm of water to be applied following scorching Wednesday

Chris Stickels does not feel there is a significant track bias
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Chris Stickels said he could not afford to gamble on rain hitting the track on Thursday morning so he has opted to apply 5mm of water to the entire course following racing for the second consecutive day.

According to forecasts, there is a chance of some heavy showers on Thursday morning, but after a scorching day on Wednesday – when temperatures at the course hit 33C – Stickels said the ground could be too quick by the time racing begins on day three should no rain fall.

"It's been a very drying day, it's been hot," said Stickels. "The thermometer said 33C at about 4pm and there's been a fair breeze. We'll water again tonight, 5mm on everything.

"There's a small risk of some thunder showers in the morning but we can't afford to miss them because the ground would be far too quick if it continued to dry the way it is."

Many of Wednesday's races went the way of horses racing nearest the stands' rail but Stickels does not believe there is an appreciable bias across the track.

"They were sticking up the centre yesterday and moved over to the stands side a bit more today," he said. "There's no huge variance, although the rails do tend to get a bit quicker in a long dry period."

Star three-year-olds to clash

Friday's Commonwealth Cup is set to deliver the much anticipated clash between Caravaggio, Blue Point and Harry Angel after the three stood their ground at Wednesday's final declaration stage.

The three head a field of 12 for the Group 1 sprint, with Wesley Ward's Bound For Nowhere also among them.

Elsewhere on Friday's card, Winter has the chance to do what her stablemate Churchill could not in adding Royal Ascot glory to a Guineas double as she faces six rivals in the Coronation Stakes.

Winter: walked away with the Irish 1,000 Guineas last time

She is joined in that race by stablemates Hydrangea and Roly Poly, with La Coronel representing America and Precieuse flying the flag for France.

Aidan O'Brien is also targeting the same day's Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes, with one-time Derby hype horse Sir John Lavery among 13 declarations.

Epsom runners Best Solution, Glencadam Glory, Khalidi, Permian and Salouen are all set to reoppose in a race known as the 'Ascot Derby'.

Royal Ascot Thursday cards

There is a small risk of some thunder showers in the morning but we can't afford to miss them, because the ground would be far too quick
E.W. Terms
Sky bet