Royal Ascot: Goldream withdrawn as ground soft after rain

Runners at the 2015 Royal Ascot meeting
Ascot Racecourse has been holding race meetings since 1711
Royal Ascot 2016
Date: 14-18 June Coverage: BBC 5 live and 5 live Sports Extra

Royal Ascot starts on Tuesday with 280,000 racegoers due over five days.

The meeting's first day features three top-level Group One races although there have been several withdrawals because of the rain-softened going.

Two American-trained runners are among the contenders, with Tepin in the opening Queen Anne Stakes and Mongolian Saturday in the King's Stand Stakes.

Guineas winners Galileo Gold, Awtaad and The Gurkha run in the St James's Palace Stakes.

The meeting is set to start with its softest ground for more than 40 years. On Tuesday morning, the ground was officially described as soft after another 4mm of rain overnight.

Tuesday's schedule

14.30 BST Queen Anne Stakes (Group 1) 1m

15.05 Coventry Stakes (Group 2) 6f

15.40 King's Stand Stakes (Group 1) 5f

16.20 St James's Palace Stakes (Group 1) 1m

17.00 Ascot Stakes (Handicap) 2 ½m

17.35 Windsor Castle Stakes (Listed) 5f

Full schedule for 2016 meeting

Weather watch for meeting

Last year's victor Goldream has been taken out of the King's Stand Stakes, joining dual winner Sole Power and Acapulco as withdrawals because of the ground conditions.

More than 30mm of rain has fallen at the course since Friday, with a mixture of sunshine and showers expected during the week.

Breeders' Cup Mile winner Tepin will have to cope with the going and is being challenged for favouritism in the first race by the Godolphin-owned hopeful Belardo.

Mecca's Angel leads the field of sprinters in the King's Stand Stakes, while the Newmarket 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold takes on Atwaad, winner of the Irish version, and French Guineas victor The Gurkha in the St James's Palace Stakes.

Ryan Moore, who rides The Gurkha for Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien, made history at last year's meeting by riding a record nine winners.

The Queen after Estimate's Gold Cup win in 2013
The Queen after Estimate's Gold Cup win in 2013

By Royal appointment

Ascot continues a big year for the Queen - who is expected to attend every day - with Thursday's feature race renamed the Gold Cup In Honour of the Queen's 90th Birthday.

The Queen is seeking her 23rd Royal Ascot winner as an owner, with the last coming courtesy of Estimate in the 2013 Gold Cup.

Estimate is now retired from racing and is expecting her first foal next year having started a breeding career.

But the Queen is expected to have up to six runners this week including Dartmouth in Saturday's Hardwicke Stakes, with another two horses set to run for the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

The Queen at Royal Ascot
The Queen enjoying the opening day of Royal Ascot's 2016 meeting

A social occasion

Ascot is renowned as a meeting where top action on the track mixes with style and glamour off it.

In 2015, around 2,400 kilos of whole sirloin beef, 3,700 rumps of lamb and 2,900 Scottish lobsters were served.

A further 51,000 bottles of champagne, 125,000 glasses of Pimms and 45,000 afternoon teas were consumed.

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