Ascot likely to stick to usual track for Champions Day but keeps weather eye

• Officials expect to use usual track but forecast makes decision awkward
• At Punchestown, Petit Mouchoir makes winning start as steeplechaser

Ascot officials are expected to decide on Thursday morning that its usual Flat-racing track should be used for Champions Day on Saturday, while acknowledging a distinct possibility that the going there could end up soft by race day. The alternative would be to use the “inner” track, which is used normally as the jumps track, but that seems a remote possibility at this stage, officials having committed to making a decision by about 9am on Thursday, before trainers have to declare their final entries.

“I’ve just walked the outer course and it’s good, good-to-soft in places,” Chris Stickels, Ascot’s clerk of the course, said on Wednesday evening. “We gave ourselves the option of using the inner track but that’s really only supposed to be used if the outer is heavy or looks like being heavy.”

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