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Royal Ascot race-by-race guide: the winners and losers from an overnight deluge

Raining at Royal Ascot: the weather has wreaked havoc on Friday, with the going now soft, heavy in places
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Often in racing you will hear people say "a good horse can go on any ground". It is, of course, utter nonsense.

The ground is one of the biggest determinants of a horse's chance – perhaps the biggest – and the rapid softening of the Ascot surface presents a dilemma for punters.

Do you stick with your original fancies or make rapid revisions because of the change in underfoot conditions?

Here's a guide to those market principals who may or may not be suited by the ground, officially soft, heavy in places, on Friday's card, which passed an inspection.

Bear in mind for the future that many of those who would not have been suited by conditions will already have been announced as non-runners.


Royal Ascot day four racecards and betting


Albany Stakes (2.30)

Warm favourite Flotus sluiced through the Goodwood mud to score by nearly five lengths on her debut. She looks sure to appreciate conditions.

Hello You graduates from a Wolverhampton all-weather win, but has Pivotal in her breeding which suggests she may enjoy soft ground.

Eve Lodge, a winner on soft at Lingfield, was withdrawn from an engagement at Ascot two days ago on account of "unsuitable ground" – it was lightning quick at the time.


Royal Ascot 2021: Friday's card goes ahead as planned as track passes inspection


King Edward VII Stakes (3.05)

Gear Up is guaranteed to relish a test in the mud. He won the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud on heavy last October, and could get firmly back on track now that he has suitable conditions again. 

Alenquer won on soft ground at Newbury on his debut last August, while Yibir also possesses easy-ground form in the book.

Commonwealth Cup (3.40)

The market has reacted sharply towards those who act on soft ground. Suesa simply relishes deep ground as her four Chantilly wins suggest.

Campanelle may be effective on fast terrain, but she also has a soft-ground win to her name in the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville.

Dragon Symbol, a fast-improving sprinter, was second to Rohaan on heavy at Haydock last time.

Coronation Stakes (4.20)

Mother Earth is fully effective on soft ground as her last-time-out Group 1 second to Coeursamba at Longchamp confirms.

Pretty Gorgeous won the Group 1 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket last autumn on ground officially described as soft.

Empress Josephine clearly relished deep mud when getting the better of stablemate Joan Of Arc by a short head in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

Sandringham Stakes (5.00)

Ground conditions have come right just in time for favourite Create Belief, who boasts two wins on very testing terrain in Ireland.

Samoot, on the other hand, is unproven on soft ground, and it's hard to gauge whether she will enjoy this sort of test.

Friendly produced a career-best performance when sixth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas last time out, and it could well be that soft or heavy ground is important to her.

Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (5.35)

Cut in the ground is important to Win O'Clock, and the rain has come just in time for Roger Charlton's likeable handicapper. He's a prime example of a horse whose chance has been significantly enhanced by the overnight downpour.

Tritonic has won on soft ground over the Ascot hurdles track, while Quickthorn bolted up on his Haydock reappearance on good to soft.


Four horses who should thrive now the rain has arrived on Royal Ascot day four


Palace of Holyroodhouse Stakes (6.10)

Mo Celita, who chases a six-timer, is particularly well served by plenty of cut underfoot as demonstrated by a Haydock heavy-ground win two starts ago.

Dream Composer is another confirmed easy-ground performer, but conditions are an unknown for Boomshalaa who chases a hat-trick.


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Friday's Royal Ascot previews:

2.30 Royal Ascot: 'She's as nice a two-year-old as I've had' – key quotes for the Albany

3.05 Royal Ascot: Derby hero Adayar's conqueror Alenquer looks the one to beat based on form

3.40 Royal Ascot: 'I expect her to outrun her odds' – key quotes and analysis for the Commonwealth

4.20 Royal Ascot: battle of the 1,000 Guineas stars as Mother Earth takes on Empress Josephine

4.20 Royal Ascot: another for Ireland? Coronation Stakes often slips out of home team's grasp (Members' Club)

5.00 Royal Ascot: Graeme Rodway on the importance of getting the right rider in the Sandringham

5.35 Royal Ascot: a decade of winners from stall ten or higher – will the run continue?

6.10 Royal Ascot: 'It's a bit of a fairytale' – Mo Celita bids to complete rags-to-riches tale


For all our exclusive free bet offers and must-have daily promotions click the free bets button or go to racingpost.com/freebets


Do you stick with your original fancies or make rapid revisions because of the change in underfoot conditions?
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