Ryan Moore wins the Gold Cup for Her Majesty

ESTIMATE provided the Queen with a famous Royal Ascot triumph when she captured the Gold Cup on day three of racing’s most prestigious meeting on Thursday.

Last year’s Queen’s Vase winner, who is trained by Sir Michael Stoute, rallied gamely under Ryan Moore to edge out Simenon and Top Trip in a thrilling finish to the fixture’s feature race.

The Queen, who became the first reigning monarch to win the race, was seen cheering home her four-year-old in enthusiastic fashion, while the 7-2 winner was greeted by huge cheers from the crowd.

Estimate, a daughter of Monsun bred by the Aga Khan, was settled in midfield by Moore as German raider Earl Of Tinsdal set the early pace.   He was closely followed by Saddler’s Rock in second with last year’s winner Colour Vision third.

Moore always seemed confident and his mount improved her position as the race reached its closing stages, hitting the front only to be challenged by Simenon and Top Trip, who came late and fast.   Simenon, a dual winner at the royal meeting last year and trained by leading jumps trainer Willie Mullins, looked a huge threat under Johnny Murtagh, but Estimate held on to delight racegoers and her famous owner.   Stoute said of his 66th Royal Ascot winner: “She showed a lot of courage and was always in a lovely position. She switches off so well.”

Stoute, winning his first top-level race since Workforce’s Arc success in 2010, added: “It’s a great thrill and honour as we know how much she [the Queen] loves the game.”   It was a second Gold Cup triumph for Stoute – he won it with Shangamuzo in 1978 – but a first for Moore, who said: “She won well. We had a great draw, she relaxes well and has a good attitude. She was always holding on. It’s fantastic to ride a winner for the Queen.”   Mullins, “pleased and disappointed” with the performance of Simenon, was equally honoured to have played a part in one of racing’s great days.   “The stands erupted, you could see everyone wanting to get to the front to see, and I’m sure it’s a very good result for racing,” he said, adding of his gallant second: “He’s run a career-best.”

A DOUBLE for the Queen, which would have lifted the roof off the grandstand, failed to materialise as Bold Sniper ran a gallant race finishing third behind Elidor.

Trained by Mick Channon, 20-1 chance Elidor was giving Martin Harley his first winner at the meeting, with the jockey describing it as “a dream come true.”

All eyes were on Bold Sniper, who was sent off the 7-2 favourite, but despite Ryan Moore’s best efforts the colt ran out of steam deep inside the final furlong, with Elidor a length clear while Space Ship took second at 16-1. Fourth went to Cap O’Rushes at 20-1.   Channon said: “We thought he had a decent chance, he’s a smashing little horse.”

Source: Racing Post 20th June 2013

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