Racing goes ahead on ‘race-by-race basis’ at Ascot this afternoon

Racing on Friday also had to pass an inspection, following persistent rain this week

Two racegoers shelter from the heavy rain at Ascot racecourse on Friday. Held over two days, the Christmas Raceday event is the traditional finale to the season. Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images

Two racegoers shelter from the heavy rain at Ascot racecourse on Friday. Held over two days, the Christmas Raceday event is the traditional finale to the season. Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images

 

Officials at Ascot have given the go-ahead to racing this afternoon — with the action to be monitored on a “race-by-race basis”.

A second inspection had been called for 11.30am to determine prospects, and the decision to go ahead was announced shortly after midday.

An initial precautionary check took place at 8am, while racing on Friday also had to pass an inspection before taking place, following persistent rain this week.

A six-race card starting at 12.40 was scheduled to feature staying king Paisley Park in his defence of the Marsh Hurdle at 2.25, but he has been taken out by Emma Lavelle due to the ground.

Clerk of the course Chris Stickels said: “Racing goes ahead, but we are monitoring it on a race-by-race basis.

“We have had poached ground from previous race meetings and the volume of rain - we have had a huge amount of rain this month and we have had another 10 millimetres overnight.

“I did not make the decision (to race) so late in the day — the stewards did. I called a precautionary inspection this morning and I thought it was marginal, and when you think it is marginal, you have another inspection later with the trainers and jockeys and stewards — and the stewards make the decision, having taken that opinion from trainers and jockeys.

“We will take things on a race-by-race-basis.”

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