Michelle Payne not able to ride at Ascot

Michelle Payne has sadly had to withdraw from today's Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot due to illness and will be replaced by Hollie Doyle.

Michelle Payne said: "It is with great disappointment that because of a virus I have contracted since arriving in England, I find I am unable to ride in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup competition today.

"I saw the doctor yesterday and we had both hoped the medication prescribed would kick in, but unfortunately that has not been the case and I am not well enough to compete today.

"I had been looking forward to being part of this special event for a long time. Joining The Girls team had been had been a major goal of mine over the last 12 months, since missing the opportunity in 2016 due to injuries sustained in a fall last year.

"I would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement and would love to return another time."

Nick Smith, Director of Racing & Communications at Ascot, added: "It's such a shame for Michelle that she's unable to ride today. She's been looking forward to it all year.

"We hope she will be able to participate in the event another time and in the meantime hope that the British audience get to see her next week at Newbury, where she's due to ride Summer Mile second Kaspersky.

"We are very grateful to Hollie for stepping in."


The latest going for the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot today, Saturday, August 12, is now:

Good to Soft, Soft in places
(from Soft, Good to Soft in places yesterday)

There was 0.5 millimetres of rain overnight up to 6.30am this morning. The forecast is for mainly dry conditions today, with sunny spells through racing.

Ascot's Clerk of the Course, Chris Stickels, said this morning: "It is drying all the time now. We had 28 millimetres of rain on Wednesday but only had half a millimetre of rain since then, which fell a couple of hours ago.

"There is a bit of a breeze and the going description is now Good to Soft, Soft in places. We may well get to Good to Soft on the Straight Course by the time racing starts if this breeze carries on and there will be some Soft places on the Round Course.

Regarding the draw, Stickels continued: "There are 10 in each race and on the Straight Course, the stalls are on the Stands' Side. I imagine the jockeys will stay Stands' Side. So the draw will play very little difference in today's races."

GoingStick readings at 8.15am today:
Straight Course 6.9; Round Course 6.4

Straight Course: Stands' Side
Round Course: Inside

The running rail on the Round Course is positioned approximately four yards out from its innermost position from the 1m 4f start, increasing to nine yards out at the bend entering the Home Straight. The rail then finishes in a cutaway in the Home Straight.

Consequent approximate changes to race distances are:

Race 2 - Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Stayers - an increase of 19 yards

Race 3 - Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge & Race 5 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Classic: 1m 4f - an increase of 16 yards

Race 4 - Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile - Old Mile - an increase of 11 yards


2.50pm Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Mile
3 MANSON (Going)

Replaced by first reserve 11R MEDBURN DREAM for The Girls team, who will be ridden by Emma-Jayne Wilson.