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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

WHEN THE GOING GETS SOFT, THE GREATS GET GOING

By Grey Wolfe, The GuardianA morning forecast of heavy rain will add a note of uncertainty to the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, when the exceptional mare Enable will set off at odds-on to beat what could be the strongest field for any race worldwide this year.

Enable, who took the 2017 King George on soft ground in her three-year-old season, will attempt to become only the third horse in the race’s 68-year history to win it twice, and the first to do so in non-consecutive years. Crystal Ocean, officially the world’s top-rated horse, is among her opponents, along with Anthony Van Dyck, this year’s Derby winner…

The official going by post time at 3.40pm could yet be soft, good-to-firm or anything in between depending on whether rain arrives at Ascot and if so, how much.

The ground was good-to-firm, good in places for the first day of the King George meeting on Friday, but the course is at the western edge of a wide area covered by the Met Office’s yellow warning and Chris Stickels, the clerk of the course, said Friday that “there’s no way we can water” as a result.

“I’ve walked the whole track, it’s good summer ground, good-to-firm with a great growth of grass on it,” John Gosden, Enable’s trainer [at Ascot] said Friday after winning the feature event. “There’s a threat of some rain tonight but they’ve prepared the track well. I walked it to make sure that it’s not like a road, but it’s not…

edited by HRI Staff

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