By Simon Jackson.
The Queen’s Ascot Gold Cup winner Estimate has been ruled out of the Melbourne Cup, Racing Victoria international recruiter Leigh Jordon has revealed.
Estimate secured her first victory in more than 14 months when she landed the Group Two Socialites Electric Cigarettes Doncaster Cup on Friday and Australian Racing officials may still have been hopeful that the Queen’s mare might travel to Melbourne, before retiring at the end of this season.
But Jordan today (Monday) revealed to the Sydney Morning Herald that Estimate was to be withdrawn from the big race.
“They [Melbourne Cup entries] are fine athletes with their connections looking at sending them around the world to compete in our best race,” Jordon said. “They can be fragile and most [owners] are reluctant to send their horse to Australia if they can see that they will not adjust to our racing.
“It’s disappointing that Estimate couldn’t be here.”
Estimate’s one and a quarter length success in the Doncaster Cup for Ryan Moore and Sir Michael Stoute was the five-year-old’s first since her memorable success in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot last year.
Estimate was given a confident ride by Moore and fought well in the closing stages to hold off Whiplash Willie and third-placed Kalann and Stoute was quick to pay tribute to the significant role played by members of his staff in the victory.
“It was great seeing her win because she ran such a blinder in the Gold Cup and Goodwood didn’t suit her – it was just too firm for her there,” Stoute said at Doncaster. “Michelle, who does her, has made a great effort as well as Kerry, the head lass, and I must mention Pascal and Dave, who ride her.”
“She is a lively filly that has a lot of energy and gets bored every now and again. She can be a little bit narky. Her resolution can never be questioned but she is a character and they do a great job with her.”
The manner of the victory impressed the winning jockey, who said she was always travelling well.
“She was never going to get beaten today,” Moore said. “She travelled sweetly and I didn’t have enough to really bring me along enough and, when she was in front there, she just waited a bit. When she feels them coming, she battles away.
“I hadn’t really asked her a serious question and there is plenty in the tank always with her.”
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