Ascot’s director of racing Nick Smith insisted he was “very pleased” with attendances at the two-day King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes Festival meeting.

It culminated with a pulsating clash between Hukum and Westover, with the former narrowly prevailing.

“It was a fabulous race, a deep race and fought out by two popular older horses,” he said.

“It was a race for the ages, although from a purely purist point of view, we needed the Derby winner to play a part. For whatever reason, he sadly was beaten before the race got started – that’s horses for you. The other three-year-old, King Of Steel, ran his race, but it was all about the two who drew clear, really.”

However, rail strikes played a part, with the crowd diminished as a result.

Smith added: “Overall, we have been very pleased with the turnout of just under 19,000, which given the rail strikes, was commendable.

“We moved a few things around on the Friday schedule and that seemed to work in terms of field size, and we were treated to a good King George, with a great finish. I think we have got to be happy in the circumstances. It was a great advertisement for racing, which is the main thing.”

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