Royal Ascot

'There’s not an awful lot of rain between now and racing' - Ascot set for dry conditions before Tuesday's opener

John Gosden (right) walks the track with Ascot clerk of the course Chris Stickels on Wednesday
John Gosden (right) walked the track with Ascot clerk of the course Chris Stickels on SaturdayCredit: Edward Whitaker

Ascot clerk of the course Chris Stickels does not anticipate there being much rain before the royal meeting gets under way on Tuesday. The going is officially good to firm, good in places after only 1.6mm of rain fell at the Berkshire venue on Saturday.

Earlier in the week, up to 19mm was forecast to fall before the weekend was out, but that number has receded as the week has gone on, with less than 5mm of rain since Wednesday.

Like the rest of southern England, Ascot has experienced breezy days with sunny spells and sharp showers over the past week, but the threat of showers after Saturday now looks to have diminished.

Clerk of the course Chris Stickels (right) testing the going
Clerk of the course Chris Stickels (right) testing the goingCredit: Edward Whitaker

After walking the track with John Gosden during the afternoon, Stickels said on Saturday evening: "It started raining between 4-4.15pm and has stopped now. 

"That’s measured at about half a millimetre and we’ve had 1.6mm since midnight, so there’s been very little today. We’re not going to change the official going. It’s a mixture of good to firm and good, six of one, half a dozen of the other really. John Gosden walked with me and he thinks similar – good, good to firm in places.

"It’s lovely ground so we’re all very happy with where we are."

On the outlook for Sunday and Monday, Stickels said: "There’s not an awful lot of rain between now and racing on Tuesday I don’t think. We might get some sharp showers through this evening. The volumes of rain that were initially forecast have now reduced in volume so I think it’s going to be a bit drier than it was initially forecast."

Asked if the lack of rainfall would lead to the prospect of watering before racing, Stickels said: "It doesn’t need any as we speak but we’ll keep reviewing the situation going forward."

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