Hats off for Estimate in Queen’s Vase

Estimate sparked Royal celebrations at Ascot yesterday when Michael Stoute’s filly appropriately won the Queen’s Vase.

Two days after Carlton House was just denied by So You Think in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, Queen Elizabeth returned to the sacred Royal winner’s enclosure for the first time since Free Agent claimed the Chesham Stakes in 2008.

Stoute said: “It’s a great thing (to have a Royal Ascot winner for the Queen).

“We’d hoped to do it with Carlton House, but we’ve done it here.”

Estimate was the 3-1 favourite following victory in a Salisbury maiden and she responded generously to Ryan Moore’s urgings in the straight.

Estimate finished off the two miles strongly to beat Athens by five lengths, with Ed De Gas third.

The three-year-old was the third runner of the week for Queen Elizabeth, following on from Carlton House and Momentary in the Ribblesdale.

Estimate was taking a big step up in distance, having won her maiden over a mile and a half, but stamina looks her strong suit judged by this emphatic win.

Athens never looked likely to peg back the winner in the straight, while Ed De Gas travelled strongly for a long way to pick up minor honours.

Of Estimate, Stoute added: “She’s bred to stay.

“She’s out of a real Aga Khan staying family with a Gold Cup winner in it and I felt after Salisbury she could be a Vase filly.

“She’s improved in her work of late and she’s come and done it nicely.”

“We thought this filly might go well if she stayed, but I think if she had not been owned by the Queen she would have only been sixth favourite in the betting.”

Queen Elizabeth won the St Leger in Silver Jubilee year (1977) with Dunfermline, and Stoute was asked if Estimate might be aimed at the Doncaster Classic in September.

He said: “I wouldn’t have thought so at this stage. We will just have to see how she progresses.”

Aidan O’Brien, trainer of runner-up Athens, said: “I was delighted with the run.”

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