Unsettled forecast before the start of Royal Ascot

Showers forecast for the end of the week and into the start of next week could impact the Royal Ascot going, which was described as good, good to firm in places on Monday afternoon.

Chris Stickels, Ascot’s clerk of the course, will provide the first official going reading for Royal Ascot on Tuesday, a week out from the five-day fixture, although what the ground will be next week hinges on the weather in the coming days.

“The preparation is going pretty well and things are setting up well,” Stickels said. “We had two millimetres in the rain gauge this morning and we’ve had a few spots since, so the going is a mixture of good and good to firm, with more good than good to firm. 

“We’re dry through now until Thursday night when there’s low pressure dominating. Thursday night, Friday and at times over the weekend and into early next week it is an unsettled picture. The volume of what might come as part of that is hard to predict at this stage. 

“During Royal Ascot week there are showers forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday, but that will become clearer as we get closer to the races.”

The going for the opening day at Royal Ascot has been good, or softer, for three of the last five seasons. It was good to firm in 2021 and 2022.

The meeting will begin with the traditional curtain-raiser of the Queen Anne Stakes, with two more Group 1s, the King Charles III Stakes (formerly the King's Stand) and the St James's Palace Stakes, ensuring a blockbuster opening day.

Royal Ascot commences next Tuesday, picture Liesl King