I can sort of see ITV's point of view.
At the moment Ascot is behind a 'higher' pay wall with RUK (I.e specific to subscribe to rather than some channel bundled in a package) whereas from next year there is a higher chance of loosing viewers to Sky Sports Racing, who will be giving it hysterical cross channel promotions at every opportunity.
I hope ITV don't get 'bored' with horse racing and it goes back to Channel 4.
They have moved the coverage on by miles, explain terminology to the non race-goer in an accessible manner, and don't treat the knowledgeable racing fans like idiots.
Wonder if the BBC might take another look at the rights. Only occasional clashes with other sports on a Saturday afternoon, and a good chance to roll the coverage from the racing, straight into Final Score.
My user name might look like Hatton Cross, but it's pronounced Throatwobbler Mangrove.