By Simon Jackson.
Sir Michael Stoute is keeping his options open with The Queen’s mare Estimate who belied a lengthy absence to finish a close second in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.
The five-year-old was seeking back to back wins in the two and a half mile contest that is the feature race on Day Three of the Royal meeting, but was narrowly beaten into second place by 2013 Ladbrokes St Leger winner, Leading Light.
Estimate, the winner of four of her nine starts and a touch under £366,000 is reported to be in good order after her Ascot defeat as connections decide her immediate target.
“She’s taken the race well considering it was two and a half miles around Ascot, which is demanding even if they finish on the bridle,” Stoute said. “She could go to the Goodwood Cup, or there is the Irish St Leger.”
At Ascot the lightly-raced daughter of Monsun was held up in the midfield by jockey Ryan Moore. She challenged a furlong out and fought well to the line, finishing a neck behind the winner and a head in front of third-placed Missunited.
The Queen’s racing manager, John Warren, was delighted with the run.
“We really couldn’t ask for more,” Warren said at Ascot. “It was tremendous and the Queen got such pleasure out of it. Estimate was so brave and to see her put in such a tremendous effort like that was tremendous.
“Ryan said it was a career best. She ran as good as you could have ever hoped.
“Having no prep race, she had all the things going against her and run well. She lost nothing in defeat – she is so game.”
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