Ascot ground eases following early rain

Conditions at Ascot have eased significantly ahead of the start of this year’s Royal meeting.

The ground was reported to be good to firm in the straight and good, good to firm in places on the round course first thing this morning, with clerk of the course Chris Stickels announcing a reassessment at lunchtime following 10 millimetres of rain.

That second course walk showed the rain had made an impact, with the round course now good, good to soft in places and the straight course changed to good.

Stickels told Sky Sports Racing: “We were forecast some showers and were given a 30 per cent chance of eight millimetres. You never know with thundery weather.

“Up to today we’ve had 2mm in five weeks here and we had 10mm in that heavy shower earlier.

“We’re good now on the straight course and good, good to soft in places on the round course.

“The grounds team have done a tremendous job. You couldn’t wish for a better sward (of grass) and it’s pretty even across the track.

“I’m happy with it and I’d much rather start this side than the ground being too fast going into what looks like a pretty dry, warm week going forwards.

“The ground will inevitably get quicker as time goes on.”

In significant non-runner news, Manaccan has been taken out of the King’s Stand.

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