The severity of forecast rain on Wednesday and Thursday is set to play a key part in determining ground conditions for Saturday’s King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes at Ascot.
The 12-furlong Group One is one of the highlights of the summer and the feature event of the Berkshire track’s two-day meeting, which starts on Friday.
There are over 150 entries for Saturday’s eight-race card, with a stellar cast set to assemble for the King George itself, in which Derby one-two Auguste Rodin and King Of Steel could take on last year’s Epsom hero Desert Crown and the likes of defending champion Pyledriver.
“We’re delighted with how the whole card is shaping up and the entries are excellent,” said Chris Stickels, Ascot’s clerk of the course.
“The King George itself looks like it could be a fantastic renewal.”
Conditions are currently described as good to soft, soft in places following a drying day on Monday.
However, Stickels will be keeping a close eye on the band of rain set to pass through the area later in the week with anything between seven and 15 millimetres forecast to fall – something he believes could be the deciding factor on whether the meeting is held on good or soft ground.
Stickels said: “The going is currently described as good to soft, soft in places.
“That will probably change on Tuesday given we’ve only had 1mm so far on Monday.
“It’s been fairly breezy and will be drying a bit. There was only a little bit of soft first thing this morning in it, we were expecting a little bit more rain, so it’s quite good it has stayed dry.
“I imagine there will be a change in the going on Tuesday to reflect it drying a bit, unless we do get any further rain now.
“The forecast for Tuesday looks generally settled. There is rain again and showers on Wednesday night through Thursday which will soften things up again and then Friday and Saturday look generally dry and blustery, with a chance of a blustery shower.
“We don’t know what to expect because every forecast model is different, but we’re forecast between 7mm and 15mm. If we had 7 or 8mm it would be goodish ground, but if we had the top-end of that forecast it would be slower than that.
“There’s a front coming through late on Wednesday through Thursday and the volume of that will be the factor that will determine what the ground will be like over the weekend.”