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Monday, 15 October, 2018

Oppenheimer: Cracksman's King George bid unlikely as good to firm expected

Cracksman's connections are hoping for rain ahead of the King George
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Owner Anthony Oppenheimer fears a lack of rain will force Cracksman to be pulled out of Saturday's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, although he says a decision will probably not be made until the morning of the race.

The forecast overnight rain did not hit the Berkshire track, although the chance of thundery showers on Friday and into Saturday has not been ruled out.

Oppenheimer said on Friday: "It's beginning to look gloomy, but whether he'll run or not is hard to say at this point.

"I don't think any decision will be made until tonight or early tomorrow morning. John Gosden will walk the course tomorrow, but if it hasn't rained by then there'll be no need to do so as he won't run.

"There is some rain forecast but it probably isn't going to be enough. We will see what happens. We want to run him if we can."

Only three years ago Gosden and Oppenheimer were praying for the rain to stay away at Ascot with Golden Horn, however soft ground ruled the Derby hero out of the Ascot showpiece.

He added: "It's frustrating. We relied on the weather three years ago with Golden Horn, hoping for no rain, and now we're asking for the complete opposite. It's most extraordinary.

"Cracksman has been going really well at home. He's very keen and Mr [Robert] Havlin who rides him has said he's going extremely well."

Ascot anticipate good to firm ground

Ascot: likely the ground will be good to firm for the King George on Satuday

Heavy rain and showers were predicted overnight, but with no rain hitting the Berkshire track, it's looking increasingly likely that the going will be good to firm.

Ascot clerk of the course Chris Stickels said on Friday afternoon: "It's currently good to firm, and it's been dry overnight and dry today.

"There's a risk of thunderstorms later and possible showers tomorrow morning. I anticipate good to firm ground tomorrow, unless thunderstorms develop and we get showers. But the likelihood of those is decreasing.

"It's hard to have a definite prediction until tomorrow as things are a bit up in the air."

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There is some rain forecast but it probably isn't going to be enough. We will see what happens. We want to run him if we can
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