A soggy afternoon at Royal Ascot did at least end on a dry note, and Clerk of the Course Chris Stickels is hopeful that the worst weather has been and gone.
A wet and muddy second day at Royal Ascot, photo Liesl King
He said: "We had 10mm of rain up until 4pm, but the track is taking it well. The straight track does drain very well, and we're hoping that we've seen the last of the heavy rain, and it will now soak through the turf and start to dry.
"Tonight we will be removing the false rail that runs from nine furlongs out to the home straight. That will provide some fresh ground on the inner of the round course for the next three days.
"At present the weather forecast suggests the weather will be generally dry for the rest of the meeting, although there is always a chance of an isolated shower."
Today's highlight at Royal Ascot, the £750,000 G1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes, was won by the Frankie Dettori-ridden Crystal Ocean, trained by Sir Michael Stoute for Sir Evelyn de Rothschild. Reflecting on a memorable race, Stickels said: "I was very pleased for the connections of the horse that he has now added a Group One victory to a fine record. Once again he proved he was tough and is a top performer at Ascot.
"Any winner for Frankie Dettori at Royal Ascot is well received, and having won the opening race too [the G2 Queen Mary Stakes on Raffle Prize], it seemed he thoroughly enjoyed his day."
The crowd on the second day of Royal Ascot 2019 came to 39,386 as against 41,495 last year.
Race 1 - 2:30pm G1 Queen Mary Stakes - Matthieu Palussiere was fined £80 as the record of vaccinations in the passport of BRAND NEW DAY (IRE) had been altered. Permission was given for ANNA'S FAST (USA) to be ponied early to the start and for APPLECROSS (IRE) to wear a hood in the Parade Ring. ICKWORTH (IRE), ridden by W J Lee, reared as the stalls opened and refused to race. The rider and the Starter were interviewed and shown recordings of the incident. Lee explained that as the 'all clear' was given by the Starter, he tried to straighten the filly in preparation for the start of the race but, in doing so, the filly reared and sat down on her haunches causing him to become unbalanced. Being satisfied that Lee was mounted as the start was effected, ICKWORTH (IRE) was deemed to be a runner. John R Velazquez, the rider of KIMARI (USA), placed second, was suspended for 9 days and fined £350 for using his whip above the permitted level and in an incorrect place from approximately 1 ½ furlongs out.
Race 2 - 3:05pm G2 Queen's Vase - The Stable Inspecting Officer reported that an employee of G M Lyons, the trainer of PYTHION (FR), had brought a substance in an unlabelled bottle into the racecourse stables which was believed to be KuraSyn, a liquid feed supplement containing Curcumin and Hyaluronic Acid. The representative of G M Lyons, the Stable Inspecting Officer and the Veterinary Officer were interviewed. Being satisfied that the colt had received only normal food and water by mouth on the day of racing, the Stewards allowed PYTHION (FR) to run, and ordered the colt to be routine tested. They further confiscated the substance, informed the trainer that it may be tested, and referred the matter to the Head Office of the British Horseracing Authority. The performance of WESTERN AUSTRALIA (IRE), which finished unplaced, was considered. The representative of Aidan O'Brien could offer no explanation for the colt's performance; the Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of the colt failed to reveal any abnormalities. Following the race, James Doyle reported that JALMOUD, unplaced, ran too free; the Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of the colt failed to reveal any abnormalities.
Race 3 - 3:40pm G1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes - Approximately ½ furlong out, the winner, CRYSTAL OCEAN, edged right-handed taking MAGICAL (IRE), placed second, marginally off its intended line. After viewing a recording of the incident, it was found that no riding offence was involved and it had not improved the placing of CRYSTAL OCEAN.
Race 4 - 4:20pm G2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes - Permission was given for AGROTERA (IRE) to be ponied early to post, for PREENING to be mounted in the chute, for SHENANIGANS (IRE) to wear a hood in the Parade Ring, and for VERACIOUS to wear a hood in the Parade Ring. ARGOTERA (IRE), DAN'S DREAM, INDIAN BLESSING, MOVE SWIFTLY, RAWDAA, and VERACIOUS all wore earplugs in the preliminaries which were removed upon arrival at the start The performance of AGROTERA (IRE), which finished unplaced, was considered. Ed Walker could offer no explanation for the filly's performance.
Race 5 - 5:00pm Royal Hunt Cup - Permission was given for CARDSHARP and GLENDEVON (USA) to be mounted in the chute, and for MORDIN (IRE) and NEW GRADUATE (IRE) to wear hoods in the Parade Ring. Approaching the final two furlongs, MORDIN (IRE), unplaced, edged marginally right-handed taking CIRCUS COUTURE (IRE), unplaced, off its intended line, which in turn took STYLEHUNTER, placed fourth, off its intended line, which in turn took ZWAYYAN, unplaced, off its intended line. After viewing a recording of the incident it was found that no riding offence was involved. Robert Winston, the rider of KYNREN (IRE), placed fifth, was suspended for 2 days for using his whip above the permitted level from approaching the final furlong. Following the race, the Veterinary Officer reported that ZWAYYAN, unplaced, lost its left-hind shoe.
Race 6 - 5.35pm Listed Windsor Castle Stakes - Permission was given for PAPER STAR to wear a hood in the Parade Ring, and for FOOLISH HUMOR (USA), to be ponied to the start. The Starter reported that SHOW ME SHOW ME was unruly, broke out of the stalls, and was withdrawn. Richard Fahey was informed that the colt could not run until the day after passing a stalls test. Following the race, Sean Levey reported that TEMPLE OF HEAVEN, unplaced, was never travelling, and Edward Greatrex reported that BETTER THE DEVIL (USA), unplaced, stopped quickly.