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10 Jun 13 08:53
Date Joined: 14 Sep 02
| Topic/replies: 3,413 | Blogger: jonjo's blog
I was a little puzzled this morning to read in the Racing Post (website) that Mr Stickels intends to water in order to start the Royal Ascot meeting on 'good ground' ?

Firstly, can someone tell me how this is justified, when the BHA directive is for clerks to aim to achieve good to FIRM ground as a safety measure (we wont get into how Bath, Brighton, Warwick etc can be allowed to race on officially firm ground, as Brighton are today) yet Mr Stickels is allowed to make this announcement without fear of censure from the BHA, NTF, ROA or anyone else?

Surely watering at this stage, taking into account the vagaries of or recent summers should be kept to a level where he is aiming for ground on the quicker side of good?

It's not like he's adverse to watering overnight at any stage of the meeting, he has a track record for doing this?

On a brighter note, it ought to be good for the game long term (asides from making potential stallions out of cripples that couldnt cope with genuine fast ground & weakening the breed further still) because false watered ground, with man made draw biases sits a lot better with bookmaker profits than genuine fast ground. So here's hoping we get a good downpour on Monday night & we can look forward to some truly unfathomable results, but relax in the knowledge that prizemoney levels might just about be maintained.......
Pause Switch to Standard View Open Question to Chris Stickels & BHA
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Report turnip turns June 10, 2013 10:04 AM BST
Personally speaking i would be happy enough if he watered to have  good ground on the first day if he feels he has too,but stopped ALL watering after and if it went firm come friday and saturday so be it,it's summer we are supposed to have fast ground.
Report duncan idaho June 10, 2013 10:11 AM BST
pretty sure there'd be plenty of NRs if they let it go Firm...they dont want that
Report J.R.Hartley June 10, 2013 11:09 AM BST
If the weather stays fine it will be difficult for them.....i remember going to Ascot in 08 and walking the course early morning and couldn't believe the amount of water going on the

track.....felt like it was the soft side of good when it was quick ground the day before....went away delighted thinking that the silly fools had changed the ground only for it to be like a road again by noon!
The new drainage system has ruined the course imo.
Report John.W.Henry. June 10, 2013 12:16 PM BST
Monday 17 June—Sunday 23 JuneA northwest/southeast divide?

It looks like the wet and windy weather affecting northwestern areas of the UK through the previous weekend will rapidly sink south and east, putting an abrupt in end to the drier and warmer weather in the south of the UK.

As the week unfolds though, we are likely to see a return to a southeast/northwest divide, with bands of heavier showers and rain pushed in by stronger winds and a prevailing cooler feel for northwestern parts of the UK, whereas southern and eastern areas should stay drier and brighter with a temperatures peaking just above the average for June. That's not to say that the south will completely avoid any showery activity though, with some spells of wet weather anticipated at times.
Report turnip turns June 10, 2013 1:29 PM BST
10 Jun 2013

Watering resumed at Ascot on Monday ahead of next week's Royal meeting with little rain forecast over the next few days at least.

Clerk of the course Chris Stickels turned on the taps on Friday and will do so again on Wednesday as he endeavours to get as near to good ground as possible for the start of the five-day feast.

"We had a drying week last week and a drying weekend so we put a spot of water on the course on Friday and we're back watering again today," Stickels told At The Races.

"We'll probably water again on Wednesday and we will review the forecast as time goes on.

"There are bits of pieces of rain forecast this week, but not really amounting to anything sufficient enough to ease the ground.

"At the moment we are a mixture of good and good to firm. That is the sort of ground we need to start Royal Ascot on given a dry week.

"We will monitor the situation to see what the forecast is for next week which is not entirely clear yet. We need to water to get it to a manageable type of ground."
Report turnip turns June 14, 2013 12:39 PM BST

looks like stickels has messed up,plenty of rain is now forecast ffsAngry
Report judorick June 14, 2013 12:42 PM BST
Report onlooker June 14, 2013 1:26 PM BST
turnip turns     10 Jun 13 10:04

Personally speaking i would be happy enough if he watered to have  good ground on the first day if he feels he has too, but stopped ALL watering after and if it went firm come friday and saturday so be it, it's summer we are supposed to have fast ground.



For me, the even bigger sin is, WATERING DURING a meeting - often changing the ground from - a time-assessed -  Good to Firm on, say, the 2nd day, to Good to an [b]UNannounced Good to SOFT on the 3rd day.

Interfering Tawts.Sad
Report onlooker June 14, 2013 1:27 PM BST
^ * to an UNannounced Good to SOFT
Report judorick June 14, 2013 1:29 PM BST
totally agree

how are you supposed to do ante post betting? disgrace this watering
Report Dr Gonzo June 14, 2013 1:49 PM BST
how are you supposed to do ante post betting?

I'm sure the bookmakers are more than happy with the present situation...
Report duncan idaho June 14, 2013 1:56 PM BST
how are you supposed to do ante post betting?

you'll be wanting to control the weather next
Report BJT June 14, 2013 1:58 PM BST
Oh no, the groundstaff are watering the ground, whatever will we do? 

The fcuking cheek of them, doing their job.......

I know you guys like your paddocks, but get real...
Report judorick June 14, 2013 2:03 PM BST
stfu BJT

it's not about watering, it's about watering enough to change the state of the going for the start of the meeting when there is unsettled weather around

meaning the going could be false and the meeting is not allowed to start on fast going

you get real ffs, there is nothing wrong with fast ground and this policy is all wrong
Report brigust1 June 14, 2013 2:10 PM BST
Ascot has recently laid a laser levelled, free draining surface on the whole straight course that is why the round course and straight course have completely different going descriptions. Where they water is the important thing. For me this is another clear message about how can anyone trust sectionals and timing in general when the going changes are never trusted in the first place.
Report scoobytoo June 14, 2013 7:57 PM BST
Plans for further watering at Ascot will hinge on whether a forecast band of rain for Friday night dropped its anticipated volume of between 3mm and 4mm, with the ground a mixture of good and good to firm after a dry and breezy day.

Chris Stickels, clerk of the course, said at tea-time on Friday: "We're forecast a spell of rain overnight of between 3mm and 4mm and if that arrives all well and good. However, if it doesn't the ground will become good to firm and I'll have to consider putting some water on, possibly tomorrow afternoon. But the forecast is very changeable at the moment and that makes things a bit tricky."

Further light rain is forecast during Sunday night into Monday. The Met Office was forecasting a mixture of sunshine and showers with a high of 16C for Tuesday's opening day.

Stickels added: "Temperatures are due to rise as the week goes on, to perhaps a high of 21c which will be very pleasant for racegoers. But, as I said, the forecast is very changeable."

The rain forecast for Sunday-showers Monday and Tuesday are then disregarded.
Report millhouse June 15, 2013 8:49 AM BST
Jonjo has it spot on as usual - as with the question as to why Colour Vision didn't get disqualified in last year's Gold Cup, the answer to this and every other unfathomable question in this rancid and complicit industry is now very simple.

Because that's what the bookmakers want...
Report BJT June 15, 2013 9:08 AM BST

Jun 14, 2013 -- 2:03PM, judorick wrote:

stfu BJTit's not about watering, it's about watering enough to change the state of the going for the start of the meeting when there is unsettled weather aroundmeaning the going could be false and the meeting is not allowed to start on fast goingyou get real ffs, there is nothing wrong with fast ground and this policy is all wrong

Now now, calm down old man, everything will be alright.

You know the going now, you know the plans of the groundstaff, you will get GS readings at acceptances, and before racing on each day, and you also know the weather.

Nothing false about it.
They are required by the rules of racing to provide you with the going stick readings at the start of every day, so they aren't really hiding anything.

Report johnnyrant June 15, 2013 9:15 AM BST
It's like this guy doesn't check the forecast. Loads of rain around Ascot area today & over next few days. Dicing with death watering. All it needs is a big squally shower or 3 & it'll be on the soft side, & if he waters it'll be loose on top & lots of horses won't act.
Report silvergreaser June 15, 2013 9:17 AM BST
first few days shows huge draw bias then he waters the crap out of the side where the draw bias is, then the bias switches to the other side.
Report johnnyrant June 15, 2013 9:26 AM BST
It seems absurd to even consider watering given the forecast.
Report Outpost June 15, 2013 9:28 AM BST
it rained there this morning and they are expecting more showers later today.
the weather forecast for the week is for it to be unsettled with a chance of showers most days.

in other words, there is very little chance of the ground being "like a road" during Royal Ascot and yet the CoC has already put more water on today and is planning to water further before and during the meeting. 

It was the big fast ground summer meetings that made flat racing popular.
now they race on manufactured slop which suits the plodders (and bookies) and penalises the faster horses (and punters) and yet racing still wonders why it's losing it's popularity in the leisure market. 

let the trainers who can't train horses to run fast, withdraw their slow horses if they want, and that will then leave the top races to be contested by the fastest horses, thus improving the breed.
Report millhouse June 15, 2013 9:31 AM BST
Outpost, that's spot on, but the name of the game is now removing punters money, not making it easy for the best horse to win...
Report jonjo June 15, 2013 9:33 AM BST
Which is something he has form for.........we've had jockeys coming back mud splattered on the saturday when there hasnt been a drop of rain & we also had 'Squelchy-gate' when gormless Luke Harvey blurted out when doing the going report on the morning that the ground was 'squelchy' on one side of the track.....He wont get that gig this week, that's for sure....

BJT. We might know stick readings etc, but it's all open to Stickels interpretation of those readings for the majority of the punters out there.
I dont give a stuff what he calls it myself, because I have records of times set against previous stick readings, so I will know what the going is, irrespective of his 'spin' next week, when I can guarantee he will call it "lovely ground" at some point on Tuesday morning......Punters all over the country, indeed the world, will be stuck with whatever he describes it as though.

And there is the usual danger of him messing about & trying to water out biases on the straight course & if he's watering on the round course on a stick reading below 8.5 he wants taking outside & shooting.........But as I've said, the BHA will do/say NOTHING because the more unfathomable it is next week, the better their utterly stupid executives will think it is for the game (short termism at it's worst)

We should be striving to produce a product that people want to bet on, where people think the regulatory authority have some interest in punters wellfare., Sectional timings in addition to accurate going forecasts/reports should be a gimme, as should clerks NOT altering perfectly raceable safe ground (there are no stats to prove quick ground is unsafe)and dressing it up as a safety measure (easy sop to the sickening RSPCA) When really, we all know that it's just licenced tinkering & keeps some racing professionals happy, especially those who want to run cripples in midsummer (not much thought for horse welfare there is there?)
Report turnip turns June 15, 2013 10:06 AM BST
Exactly jonjo,the upshot is they don't want you to win,i can remember a time yrs ago when watering was minimal and the months of June,July and August were very profitable,simple reason was constant ground,but THEY have now put paid to that.
Report millhouse June 15, 2013 10:11 AM BST
the upshot is they don't want you to win

Unequivocally, Horse Racing UK's business model is built around this requirement...
Report asparagus June 15, 2013 10:11 AM BST
Sadly no one in power will question the scandalous overwatering that goes on. Royal Ascot should be all about the fastest horses. It's an absolute scandal that he's watering today but no one will question him. The people in charge are quite happy with a lottery.
Report millhouse June 15, 2013 10:14 AM BST
The problem, Asparagus, is that the people in charge make more money with a lottery...
Report turnip turns June 15, 2013 10:41 AM BST
I have just bought up a thread on the ante post forum that goes back 4 yrs and nothing has changed re Chris Stickels,how the fcuk he's still in a job is mindboggling..........................................then again maybe not.
Report Dr Gonzo June 15, 2013 11:26 AM BST
Great post Jonjo.
Report Aviboyd June 15, 2013 11:33 AM BST
Fair play Jonjo, carry on the fight!  I gave up long ago, there is only so much banging your head against a brick wall one can take. As soon as the current generation of punters die out that will be the end for British horse racing....
Report Roger De Bris June 15, 2013 11:49 AM BST
Watering – My View

by Neil Mackenzie Ross

To water or not to water – My view

Perhaps the greatest outcome of watering is the debate it provides, I mean imagine if we didn’t do it, a major talking point would be lost.  So why do we do it, well the recent cold spring has meant we have watered to promote grass growth but ordinarily it is to manipulate the ‘going’ on our racecourses in order to provide safe ground, both for horses and riders.  One point to clear up at this stage is that the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) General Instruction for Flat racing is to aim to produce Good to Firm ground but with the agreement of the BHA Racecourse Inspectorate providing Good ground is appropriate.

The most common thread of feedback from trainers in the almost eight years experience I have had of preparing racing surfaces has been don’t produce firm ground.  It is my belief that unless circumstances conspire against you then firm conditions are not particularly likely to be found on a UK racecourse, unless of course you are Bath who have no watering facilities and therefore cannot avoid firm ground during a dry spell.  So, in the lead up to a meeting when the forecast is inconclusive for rain then I will water, as the risk of the rain not coming and the ground going firm is less preferable than the rain coming and the ground easing.

Producing ground which provides a good experience for horses is though not the only factor to consider.  The nature of a track like Lingfield Park is such that ensuring there is plenty of moisture in the ground coming down the hill (which is taken on the turn) is imperative in order for horses to get a grip and consequently for jockeys to feel confident coming down it.  Not watering the hill, the ground going firm and a shower of rain coming down on raceday could cause horses to slip, resulting in disastrous consequences.

So, watering will no doubt continue to provoke great debate and polarise opinion but providing a safe surface for horse and jockey will always be my aim.  If showers come after watering then so be it but with the above in mind I will rest easier if not contently.  The best comments about ground always come when the ground is Good and for me ground on the fast side of Good is the ideal.
Report Outpost June 15, 2013 12:04 PM BST
if you put the ascot CoC in charge of a rice paddy field, he would water it.
Report duncan idaho June 15, 2013 1:24 PM BST
parallel universe thread imo
Report johnnyrant June 15, 2013 2:16 PM BST
Just look at Sandown today - big showers & now on soft side - has anyone tried to contact Stickels to ask exactly what he is doing?
Report johnnyrant June 15, 2013 4:34 PM BST
SHOWERS hit Ascot on Friday night and Saturday morning to complement their watering programme with the ground described as good, good to firm in places.
3mm on top of 6mm - great work, Mr Stickels. So that's 9mm & no doubt a massive under-statement regarding how much rain has already hit the track today, with more to come.

There could be further showers around before the royal meeting gets underway on Tuesday which will ensure there is no jar in the surface.

Chris Stickels, clerk of the course at  Ascot, said on Saturday: "Including the showers we had last night and this morning equates to around 3mm on top of the 6mm we have put on. It's now good, good to firm in places from good to firm earlier in the week."

On the weather front he added: "It's largely dry on Sunday but there could be showers on Monday night. After that Wednesday looks to be dry but it won't be baking hot with temperatures in the high teens."
Report BJT June 16, 2013 5:02 AM BST
All null and void really.  Royal Ascot must be the best racecourse in the world.  As such, its drainage must be second to none.  Also, this all being the case, there will be no draw bias and all parts of the course obviously provide the same chance for all animals competing.

Unless you are suggesting the greatest racetrack in the world is really just a paddock and 3mm of water will turn it to slosh?
Report johnn June 16, 2013 8:04 AM BST
There has effectively been zero progress in this department for the last few years. Newbury the other day was having times 7-8 seconds slower than it should have been if the declared ground and readings were accurate. Courses changing the going after a couple of races whilst having no rain to affect the said going tells it all.

Basically what we have are a set of furry recommendations from the BHA and a set of COCs who are effectively left to both interpret and action on the basis of these directives. What disappoints and surprises me more than anything is the lack of direction and cohesion from the training community on this issue. I recall Hughie Morrison having a pop at Kirkland a few years ago when he had the fav for the Haydock sprint and wanted firm ground, but Kirkie ensured via overzealous watering allied to nature, that the bold Hughie's horse not only lost, but almost drowned. The tartan waistcoat has the odd grump, but that seems about it. Why isn't the training community more vocal?

At a preview evening a few years ago I discussed this issue with both Noel Wilson and Jim Goldie. Noel was getting increasingly disillusioned with the game at that time, and said he had recently taken a horse all the way from Scotland to Newmarket for a Friday night handicap and had to withdraw due to unsuitable ground, caused by one single shower on top of overwatering. He was of the opinion that the going reports and forecast ground was much more accurate in Ireland. Both countries have the same climate.....

Jim Goldie trotted out the BHA line about "producing safe ground" twice to me, and I had to remind him I was asking his opinion, not asking for the directive from the BHA to be quoted verbatim. He seemed to have difficulty with this concept, so I gave up.

With Royal Ascot just round the corner, I'm not sure what it will take for this issue to come up for the correct sort of debate. I have emailed all associated parties in this sport several times, and any replies suggest that this is seen as a "non issue", obviously because the major stakeholders (bookmakers) would want to encourage these inconsistencies. That's common sense, not a conspiracy theory. When senior figures in the BHA describe a 100/1 Grand National winner as "a dream result for the industry", its not difficult to assess who he perceives as his main responsibility - and its not the punter.

The problem with this whole issue is that racing is commercialised like never before in 2013, and marketed in a way we never thought possible in 1985. Bands after racing, conferences at racecourses, weddings, car boot sales - the racing is almost a sideshow at times. Then when you strip that back, the serious core of punters in this country who will have a serious punt instead of a recreational flutter must be the biggest danger to the bookmakers bottom line, and if there is one singlemost aspect which is more important to form study than accurate going - then I don't know what it is (though sectionals, horse weights and the like would help too). Therefore it seems reasonable enough to assume that the authorities who are beholden to the bookies have it in their best interests to see the current situation continue.

It's beyond imagination to expect anyone like Clare Balding to ask questions about this issue, God forbid they might take her gong back and cut her weekly broadcasting hours down to 200, but we have respected (no snidey comments please) broadcasters like Cunningham and McGrath currently on our primetime Racing programme, is it expecting to much of them to be able to put this question where it deserves to be - firmly in the public domain?
Report turnip turns June 16, 2013 10:03 AM BST
Excellent post johnn.
Report elisjohn June 16, 2013 10:06 AM BST
Report brigust1 June 16, 2013 10:25 AM BST
One thing you never mentioned Johnn was that at Newbury the course was running 22 metres wrong due to repositioning of the rails. I'm pretty sure it was Mike Catt who said it in his final summary. Are these things recorded?
Report Stevie Gerrard June 16, 2013 10:30 AM BST
the slow times at newbury were mainly due to the strong headwind. you can see that with the difference per furlong in times between the races on the straight track and round course and this despite the rails being out and adding 0.75s on times on that course. Without the headwind it would have been good ground on times. Though not good to firm, good in places as given.
Report Outpost June 16, 2013 10:33 AM BST
BHA directive says it doesn't matter how much water you put on a course as long as you always give the going as good to firm.
Report Stevie Gerrard June 16, 2013 10:36 AM BST
I had it written down as 12 metres brigust but I may be wrong
Report brigust1 June 16, 2013 10:44 AM BST
You could be right Stevie but now I come to think of it it was at the last meeting, time does pass so quickly. Do they show these distance changes in the results?
Report Stevie Gerrard June 16, 2013 10:49 AM BST
they do sometimes brig mention in it in the analysis in the first race of the results in the racing post but not always. I always write them down from the bha going website.
Report brigust1 June 16, 2013 10:54 AM BST
Thanks Stevie. Sometimes these things just get washed over, so glad someone is on the ball. I wonder how many times these plastic rails are moved and how the 'time' chappies can rely on their times? Not something I do but it begs the question.
Report Stevie Gerrard June 16, 2013 11:19 AM BST
yes rails moved quite often brig. Sandown races yesterday had 5 yards added on to the round course and York 7 yards to 1m+ races. But easy enough to factor into the times.
Report Stevie Gerrard June 16, 2013 11:28 AM BST
ASCOT - Flat (Updated:16/06/2013 at 08:53:33)   
(GoingStick: Standside 8.3, Centre 8.2, Farside 8.3, Round 8.0
on Sunday at 08:00)

Straight Course: Centre

For Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the rail on the round
course will be positioned approx 3yds out from 9f to the
Home straight. Adding approx the following:
Old Mile- 6yds
1m 2f- 9yds
Races of 1m 4f and further- 12yds

Watered 6mm on new course yesterday.
3mm rain yesterday afternoon. Mainly dry forecast for Sunday
and Monday. Possible light showers on Tuesday. Occasional
showers due through the week.

No further watering prior to racing

If no rain then we should start on fast side of good I would think.
Report johnnyrant June 16, 2013 11:45 AM BST
Strange how he claimed it was 'good, good to firm in places' after the rain hit yesterday on top of watered ground.

And today it is described as 'good' despite no mention of further rain. In other words, it's actually on the slow side of good due to more than 3mm of rain hitting the course yesterday on top of already watered ground, & Stickels didn't want to make himself look more of an eejit by telling the truth.

And more rain shortly to hit the track, according to this radar:

Nice work Mr Stickels!
Report bacchanal June 16, 2013 1:03 PM BST
after mny years, and against a backdrop of zero moral leadership from the racing media, keep an keeping on jonjo.
Report BJT June 18, 2013 3:46 PM BST

Straight course a solid Good To Firm.
Round course the high side of Good.

Not sure what issues some people on here have really... 

Making bullsiht assumptions as per usual.
Report duncan idaho June 18, 2013 3:56 PM BST
Embarrassing thread from the naysayers, conspiracy theorists, miserabilists...we seem to be starting on perfect ground
Report turnip turns June 20, 2013 9:13 AM BST
Ascot Racecourse ‏@AscotInsider 49s
#RoyalAscot Goingstick readings as at 8.30am: Standside 9.8, Centre 10.1, Farside 10.1, Round 9.3

we have proper fast ground,lets hope it stays that wayMischief
Report TheAnorak June 20, 2013 9:19 AM BST

Unlikely to stay fast unfortunately - the rainfall radar shows a large area of rain just leaving France and heading across the channel - and if it stays on the same path, Ascot will be right in the middle of it about midday or soon after.
Report turnip turns June 20, 2013 9:27 AM BST
thanks for the info TheAnorakCool i have no problem with the weather intervening ,my problem is the people that use the hosepipe Tongue Out
Report silvergreaser June 20, 2013 10:20 AM BST
Duncan did you not think there was a marked bias for those racing far side yesterday?, yet the day before it looked like the fastest strip was on the stand side but not conclusive.
A little drop of extra water on the stand side ironed that out to revert the bias elsewhere?.

But of course we're all naysayers even when our eyes are telling us exactly what we feared.
Report BJT June 20, 2013 10:52 AM BST
You want to have a 50 metre wide, mile long bit of grass, you have to expect that some parts aren't holding up the same as others.

Going stick shows the readings have gone up 1 full point in 2 days.  Now if they didn't water at all, there would be horses pulling out due to hard ground.  Not to mention it has gone up equally across all points of the track.
Report duncan idaho June 20, 2013 10:54 AM BST
silvergreaser, your eyes are telling you what you want to believe
Report TheAnorak June 20, 2013 11:20 AM BST
Rain area arrived in Kent, but looking now as if it will pass to the east of Ascot.
Report turnip turns June 20, 2013 11:30 AM BST
TheAnorak ,thanks againCool
Report Outpost June 20, 2013 11:43 AM BST
he shouldn't even be considering watering given the unsettled weather forecast.

why does he feel the need to water between showers, and why would anybody sensible (apart from bookies) condone it?
Report duncan idaho June 20, 2013 2:38 PM BST
why would any sensible person think they should water when they are knocking spots off 2yo track record and favs are being taken out cos of ground?
Report turnip turns June 20, 2013 2:49 PM BST
Flat racing as it should be,run on FAST ground #trackrecords #speedCool
Report loper June 20, 2013 2:54 PM BST
Thank God he didn't listen to all you 'experts'!
Report Outpost June 20, 2013 3:04 PM BST
hopefully when he's out this evening changing the track bias again, he will step in a "squelchy" bit of ground and disappear for ever.
Report duncan idaho June 20, 2013 3:14 PM BST
does an excellent job and the'experts' still want him gone Crazy

ps Rites of Passage NR...Alive Alive Oh NR
Report Outpost June 20, 2013 3:19 PM BST
it's not exactly astounding that heavy ground horses are being taken out of a mid summer meeting.
they get entered because they know that overwatering on top of natural rainfall usually gives them a chance to compete.
Report jimmy4england June 20, 2013 3:23 PM BST
This is the first top meeting run on fast ground for years. The soft ground horses have had it their own  for ages. Well done Ascot !!
Report duncan idaho June 20, 2013 3:26 PM BST
heavy-ground horses? sad you're reduced to manipulating the truth now...Rite of Passage won Gold Cup on good to firm...High Jinx 2nd in Doncaster Cup on Good
Report loper June 20, 2013 3:30 PM BST
You cant reason with zealots, Duncan.
Report duncan idaho June 20, 2013 3:38 PM BST
yeah, i'm done here, loper...wouldnt have mattered what he'd done for some people, they'd have sl@gged him off either way
Report elise June 20, 2013 6:18 PM BST
fair play duncan, you were on quite early with an alternative view
Report zilzal1 June 20, 2013 7:03 PM BST
Good fast ground today , its been a fair bit faster on the stick before, only last year we hit the mid 11s, yes not all will act or run on it, but neither will all horses who like to point their toe act on slop and lets face it, fast ground on the flat isnt that common.

A lot of meeting have been softer than the Cheltenham Festival has in previous years
Report BJT June 20, 2013 7:12 PM BST

Jun 20, 2013 -- 3:23PM, jimmy4england wrote:

This is the first top meeting run on fast ground for years. The soft ground horses have had it their own

Report BJT June 20, 2013 7:13 PM BST
GOING: GOOD (Stands' side 9.4, Centre 10.0, Far side 9.5, Round 8.4)
GOING: GOOD (Good to soft in places on Round course; Stands' side 9.2, Centre 9.6, Far side 9.0, Rnd 8.1)

That was 2 years ago.
And I know they hit 9.0 last year which is genuine good to firm.

But nice story you tell...  Most of Ascot is run on decent ground.
Report turnip turns June 20, 2013 7:22 PM BST
Chris Stickels, clerk of the course at #royalascot "I am going to put four millimetres on across the whole course tonight."Cry
Report millhouse June 20, 2013 8:04 PM BST
^^ No draw bias and genuine summer ground has led to lots of favs/second favs winning today - this will not be seen as 'good for racing', imo...
Report turnip turns June 21, 2013 8:31 AM BST
it's now raining on the watered groundCry
Report turnip turns June 21, 2013 8:54 AM BST
Mark Johnston Racing ‏@MJR_Middleham 4m
Rain on top of watered ground at Ascot. Why, oh why, do they do it?
Report duncan idaho June 21, 2013 9:04 AM BST
because they are not God and dont know for certain that it will rain? if hadnt watered & didnt rain, rattling quick & Johnston prob first to moan if one came back lame/jarred up
Report johnnyrant June 21, 2013 9:08 AM BST
They have said week-long what great condition the turf is in with no jar in the ground. Simply no need to water. Leave it be. Now, there's a good chance of false ground after he watered with this prolonged rain this morning. If you think this is good for racing & 'well done Stickels' then you must work for the bookmaking industry.
Report duncan idaho June 21, 2013 9:17 AM BST
prolonged rain? why the need to make things up? they've been forecasting showers all week and got none...ground was firm as they would ever want it yday so had no option but to water (in case showers again failed to materialise)
Report asparagus June 21, 2013 9:20 AM BST
Johnnyrant is spot on. The only thing that should stop us having fast ground for the big summer flat racing festival is rain. A clerk of the course with his watering can should not be changing the state of the ground.
Report jonjo June 21, 2013 9:21 AM BST
Loper, Duncan & BJT........Can either of you answer my original question, why did Stickels feel the need to water the ground to 'good' to start the meeting, when there are no stats & no BHA directive to say that good to firm ground is 'dangerous' for flat racing? And dont trot out the tripe that it's so he doesnt have to water mid meeting, cos he's shown last night he doesnt give a hoot about doing that.
And now we have rain at Ascot today, on top of watered ground, with Nick Luck saying "you can feel underfoot how much water's gone on".......
In your own time lads......
Report TheAnorak June 21, 2013 9:27 AM BST
If the 4mm of water applied to the track last night had instead been 4mm of rain, would the further rain this morning still produce 'false ground'.

Or do rain water and watering water have a different effect on the turf?
Report duncan idaho June 21, 2013 9:31 AM BST
jonjo, cos it is a 5-day meeting and there is only so much that they can put on overnight, so if you started on g/f & got drying weather it would very quickly go firm....not sure what you guys want, the times suggest it was g/f on day 1 ffs & he's put on a measly 4 mills
Report johnn June 21, 2013 9:31 AM BST
Try and go and water your local playing field with a hose, The Anorak, and see how consistent you can make it.
Report duncan idaho June 21, 2013 9:32 AM BST
they've moved on from using a hose, johnn, in fairness
Report roggrain June 21, 2013 9:34 AM BST
Good question,anorak.
I think there might be a difference.I suppose it depends on how quickly the watering takes place.
If it takes seconds to deposit 4mm on a given area of ground that water might run to and settle into low spots.
Whereas 4mm rain might soak in more slowly and more evenly.
Report scoobytoo June 21, 2013 9:35 AM BST
Lets be honest here....Stickels was very lucky there wasnt any rain before today.
So it looks as tho only 2 days are compromised this year with the watering policy
Report johnn June 21, 2013 9:36 AM BST
Indeed Duncan. I've walked the course at Ayr, for example, and seen the results of their watering policy in the past allied to showers that were not forecast, and I can guarantee that you would not want to bet on some of that slop.
Report BJT June 21, 2013 9:40 AM BST
Maybe they should just let it be what it is.  Don't mow it, don't water it, don't even have a groundsman.
Report duncan idaho June 21, 2013 9:45 AM BST
that seems to be what the people want, BJT
Report BJT June 21, 2013 10:35 AM BST
TurfTrax ‏@TurfTrax 43m
@AscotInsider Latest Ascot Going Report, Good to Firm. GoingStick; Stand: 9.0 Centre: 9.1 Far: 9.3 Round: 8.1
Report the dealer June 21, 2013 12:14 PM BST
who would be a clerk of the course, he was villified before the meeting even started about his watering policy. as far as i can see he has done a pretty good job so far.
Report zilzal1 June 21, 2013 12:34 PM BST
Why would he feel the need to water at around 10.4 yesterday when, at the King George meeting last year, they were racing up to stick readings in the mid 11s, esp when we did have a chance of showers, its not much of the time during a british summer that horses who thrive on these conditions actually get them
Report joss June 21, 2013 12:47 PM BST
to be fair its an impossible task to decide. Weather forecast to rain a plenty from wednesday through to thursday and they didnt get a drop. If the forecasters are so shight what can you do!!
Report duncan idaho June 21, 2013 2:52 PM BST
tv must be playing sign of splashing thru puddles on my picture Plain
Report the dealer June 21, 2013 2:53 PM BST
Fahey not happy with the going, too firm
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