Today’s racing

Leicester’s opening event today is the novices’ hurdle (2m4f), which looks ideal for the Fergal O’Brien-trained Imperial Alcazar.

The six-year-old was last seen at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day when he was awarded a Listed prize on the disqualification of Protektorat. However, connections of Protektorat lodged an appeal and were subsequently successful.

Pistol Whipped, trained by Nicky Henderson, bids to follow up his decisive course and distance victory in December in the novices’ handicap chase (2m6½f), though the Lucinda Russell-trained Looks Like Murt should provide stern opposition, having made the journey down from Perth in Scotland.

The only other racing in Britain today comes from Kempton, which hosts a twilight all-weather meeting.

Brooke replaces Weatherby as Her Majesty’s Representative at Ascot

Sir Francis Brooke will succeed Johnny Weatherby as Her Majesty’s Representative at Ascot at the end of this year’s Royal Meeting.

Brooke has been a Trustee since 2011 and Chairman of Ascot Authority (Holdings) Ltd since 2018. He becomes only the sixth person to hold the position during the Queen’s reign.

Weatherby, who has held the role for nine years, will also stand down as a Trustee of the Ascot Authority in June. The Queen has appointed Lady Celina Carter as Trustee, who brings an extensive portfolio of experience with the racing industry to the role.

Brooke said: “Johnny has made an immense contribution to Ascot since his appointment as a Trustee in 1997.

“He was Chairman of the Board from 2008 to 2018 and succeeded the Duke of Devonshire as Her Majesty’s Representative at Ascot in 2011. Johnny’s total commitment to Ascot racecourse and its success has been evident to all who know him.

“It is a great honour to be asked to succeed him as Her Majesty’s Representative.”