Rite Of Passage beats Age Of Aquarius to win the Ascot Gold Cup 17.06.2010

Rite Of Passage (right): Curragh workout scrapped by Dermot Weld

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham  

Ascot to resume watering with little rain forecast

WATERING is set to resume at Ascot on Monday as clerk of the course Chris Stickels attempts to ensure the ground is not too quick for the start of the royal meeting a week on Tuesday.

After consulting the latest weather forecast, Stickels said on Sunday night: “It looks like we might get a little bit of rain in midweek. There is a chance of some on Wednesday/Thursday but not a huge amount. Otherwise it will be staying mainly dry this week.

“The ground at the moment is a mixture of firm and good to firm. We watered on Friday and we will be back watering tomorrow. From what I can see there is not enough rain forecast to stop me watering.

“I want to start the meeting as near to good as possible because if you have a dry forecast it will gradually dry as the week goes on.”

On a day when Trading Leather enhanced his Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby prospects with victory in the TRM Silver Stakes at the Curragh, Jim Bolger revealed some of his team for Royal Ascot.

Rehn's Nest, a 40-1 shot when third behind Just The Judge in the Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas last month, will go for the Coronation Stakes, a race the trainer has won twice before.

"Rehn's Nest is going for the Coronation, while We'll Go Walking will run in the Ribblesdale Stakes,” said Bolger.

"I haven't finalised plans yet but I expect to have a few other runners including Tobann, who may go for the Sandringham Stakes, and Heart Focus, who is a possible for the Albany Stakes."

Trainer Dermot Weld scrapped plans to work Ascot Gold Cup favourite Rite Of Passage at the Curragh after racing on Sunday because he deemed the ground too quick.

Ladbrokes on Sunday cut Epsom Dash winner Duke Of Firenze to 8-1f (from 10f) for the Wokingham and the Andrew Balding-trained Stirring Ballad to 20-1 (from 25) for the Royal Hunt Cup.

THINK Flat racing and most think of Royal Ascot. The hats - running the gamut from stunning to misguided - the pageantry, the Queen in her carriage, the tops 'n' tails, the champagne on lush green lawns and, not forgetting, the incredible racing come together to form one of Britain's most iconic sporting events.

Over five days in mid-June the nation's great and good descend upon the royal racetrack for an occasion rich in every sense - in heritage, in sporting merit,and in the vast array of wealth represented by the crowds of dukes, earls and oligarchs strutting before the grandstand.

For mere mortals Royal Ascot is a chance to watch and wonder at the elaborate outfits donned at the Berkshire racecourse and watch in wonder as the cream of British and Irish Flat talent square off against each other and - increasingly - the steady stream of raiders from Australia, America and other corners of the globe.

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