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MUD LARKS.

Byline: Paul Eacott

ROYAL ASCOT'S Silver Ring was badly affected by the heavy rain, leaving racegoers in the predominantly grass-covered area increasingly trapped in the mud yesterday.

Ascot's head of public relations Nick Smith said that as much work as possible had been done to make Silver Ring facilities better for racegoers, but admitted the conditions they encountered yesterday were not the best.

"Over the last two or three years we have tried to build the Silver Ring into a great area, as in the opening years it was not really up to scratch," said Smith.

"It is wet down there, but there is not a lot we can do about that and it is once again full and a sell-out."

Torrential rain which hit Ascot on Friday evening led to the racecourse management abandoning 300 years of tradition for the final day of the meeting as racegoers braved another wet day.

Announcements were made after the final race on Friday that any footwear would be acceptable in all enclosures yesterday as the turf areas on which thousands of racegoers watch the action became soggy following the latest downpour.

Smith said: "There is actually nothing in the Royal Enclosure dress code specifically about shoes. In reality, however, the overall formal dress code does not really constitute wearing boots, so we said to racegoers using the Silver Ring and the Royal Enclosure garden to wear what you like.

"It's not really a safety issue, as we have put a lot of wood-chip down, but more to do with comfort issues."

CAPTION(S):

Two ladies are in the money despite the conditions in Ascot's Silver Ring yesterday
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jun 19, 2011
Words:275
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