Soft ground predicted for Champions Day at Ascot after heavy rain

Mon 15 Oct 2018

Ascot’s clerk of the course Chris Stickels expects Champions Day to take place on soft ground.

More rain has fallen in the past 24 hours at the course than in the whole of September.

The ground is currently a mixture of soft and heavy for Saturday – and while not too much more rain is forecast throughout the week, Stickels is not expecting it to dry up dramatically.

Thst will give connections of Roaring Lion, who is disputing favouritism for the QIPCO Champion Stakes a conundrum. They have said he could be switched to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes over a mile if conditions are deemed too testing.

He said: “There’s only a couple of millimetres forecast for the rest of the week after today – there’s a chance we could get a little bit more today.

“There’s a chance of two millimetres on Wednesday. But other than that it looks dry, so my prediction is soft ground on Saturday.

“It’s a mixture of soft and heavy at the moment – it’s heavy, soft in places on the round course and soft, heavy in places on the straight.

“I’d expect to see an improvement, given the forecast, but you don’t get much drying at this time of year.

“We haven’t seen that volume, over 40 millimetres, for ages. We wouldn’t have had it in the whole of September, so it’s quite heavy.”

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