Ascot drying out – but braced for forecast storms

Clerk of the course Stickels wary of mixed outlook

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Clerk of the course Chris Stickels warns thunderstorms are forecast for the opening day of Royal Ascot.

Like much of the country, the Berkshire circuit was hit by torrential rainfall last week, but there has been a steady improvement in ground conditions over the weekend and into Monday.

Stickels believes there is scope for further drying before the start of racing on Tuesday, but adds there is every chance that could be halted by further rain during racing.

Stickels told Sky Sports Racing: “It’s beautiful ground right now. We’ve got good ground on the straight course and good, good to soft in places on the round course.

“It’s a drying day today, with bright sunshine and a nice breeze. I can see it drying further before the first race.

“This track drains incredibly well, and I’m very pleased with how it’s coped with last week’s rain.”

The complication, however, is the threat of possible storms on the weather radar.

“The unfortunate thing is we’re forecast a bit of rain on Tuesday afternoon – thunderstorms are forecast,” added Stickels.

“So no sooner will it dry out, I expect it to go back on the soft side again. The thunderstorms could continue on Tuesday night and into Wednesday.

“The nature of thunderstorms means they are hit and miss, so we’re not guaranteed a huge amount of rain, but it could deliver up to 12 millimetres or half an inch.”

Ascot drying out – but braced for forecast storms
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