Day three of Royal Ascot will be run on at least soft ground following significant rain overnight and throughout the morning.
The track tweeted just before midday: “GOING UPDATE: The ground across the racecourse has now been officially changed to Soft ahead of day three.”
Ascot had 11 millimetres of rain up to this morning and with further precipitation anticipated throughout the afternoon, the ground could yet turn more testing ahead of Stradivarius’ bid for a third Gold Cup win at 3.35pm.
Chris Stickels said at 11.50am: “We have now had 16 millimetres of rain since racing finished on Wednesday and I have changed the going to soft all over.
“The Straight Course is walking quite well, but this moisture is really starting to get properly into it now.
“We have fresh ground on the Round Course from nine furlongs out today, and the Straight Course has taken the racing really well so far this week, it is simply the volume of rain we have received that is now really getting into it.
“Low pressure has been circling us for the last seven or eight days and the weather has been difficult to predict. It does look like it should settle down for Friday and Saturday, with the chance of occasional showers. Once we are through today, we should be over the worst of it, although the risk of showers cropping up on Friday and Saturday remains.”
The rain is not good news for Stradivarius and his connections, with John Gosden warning his charge is much happier on fast ground. Technician, who has high-class form when the mud is flying, has been backed against the favourite.