Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Ascot Announces Full Weekend Contingency Plans
Following recent heavy rain and with more forecast for the next 24 hours, the Ascot Executive has asked the BHA’s Racing Department to ensure that six races take place on the straight course on Saturday, May 12th, to give the fixture the best chance of going ahead. The going on the round course is currently soft, but the forecast overnight rain may render it unraceable. Therefore, the BHA has added an additional race to Saturday’s card and one of the existing races will be divided.
The extra race, a maiden race for three years old and upwards over five furlongs, will close at noon on Thursday, May 10th, while declarations must be made by 10am on Friday, May 11th.
In addition, the Betfred the Bonus King Handicap (Class 4) at 5.10 will be divided at declaration.
Also, in order to safeguard racing at Ascot on Friday, May 11th, two races will divide on the straight course, in the event that the round course becomes unraceable in the next 48 hours. Whichever two races out of the 5.25, 6.00 and 7.45 receive the most declarations will be divided. This will result in 8 races being scheduled, with the round course races moved to the start of the card.
Nick Smith, Head of Communications for Ascot, said:
“With racing on the round course highly questionable, we took the step of approaching the BHA this morning to look at options to create six straight course races on Friday evening alongside the two round course races, which we may lose. Splitting two races, whilst arguably not ideal, will enable us, if necessary, to provide a six race card as required by the rules of racing.
“In addition we asked the BHA Executive to ensure that six races take place on the straight course on the Saturday. As a result, an extra race has been programmed, and a further race will divide at declaration.
“We’re very much supporters of the dynamic race planning initiatives that are more and more being adopted by the racecourses and the BHA in situations like this, as demonstrated last week by the quick work all round to move our Sagaro card to the all weather, which was co-funded by the levy board, Ascot and Kempton.