OFFICIALS at Ascot have put contingency plans in place to run Qipco Champions Day on the inner round course as heavy rain has left parts of the outer track waterlogged.
Clerk of the course Chris Stickels reports the inner round course to be good to soft, soft in places while the outer track, away from the waterlogging, is heavy following 16 millimetres of rain in the last 24 hours.
The forecast is for an unsettled week with rain forecast on most days, so the Ascot team, in consultation with British Champions Series and the British Horseracing Authority, could switch tracks if the outer course is unraceable or in serious danger of such, on the day before or morning of racing.
Stickels said on Sunday: “The weather forecast is unsettled all week and connections of prospective runners are reminded of the race conditions, relating to the round course races.
“Racing on the outer course on Saturday may yet be possible, but we have the option to switch.
“With waterlogged in today’s going description, if we were racing today, we would be on the inner course.
“In the circumstances, with uncertainty over which round track will be used, the BHA has confirmed that irrespective of the decision, penalties will not be applied to any non-runners withdrawn from round course races due to the ground conditions.
“We are most grateful to them for the flexibility shown, enabling connections to plan whilst waiting on the track decision.”