Throughout Stoute’s decorated career, it is entirely plausible that few horses will have filled him with quite as much angst during a calendar year.
To suggest the 2013 Ascot Gold Cup winner has had a volatile season would be the essence of understatement.
The Queen’s mare may have run heroically to finish second at Royal Ascot in June, but just a month a later a positive test for morphine delivered a seismic jolt which made worldwide headlines.
Estimate was one of a cluster of horses to have become embroiled in the case, with the source of the drug identified as a contaminated batch of horse feed.
Even so, she is still likely to be disqualified from this season’s Gold Cup at a British Horseracing Authority hearing on September 25.
To compound the matter, a deplorable run at Glorious Goodwood must have added to the sense of bewilderment at how things had gone so sharply awry in such a short space of time.
Little wonder, then, that the usually taciturn Stoute afforded a rare outpouring of joy when the five-year-old daughter of Monsun claimed the Socialites Electric Cigarettes Doncaster Cup.
The venerable Group Two barely changed complexion until deep inside the penultimate furlong once Very Good Day, who flew solo from the outset, predictably withered away.
With the likes of Brass Ring and Alwilda having also slipped by the wayside, and Times Up, who had won the race for the last two seasons, never really a factor, Ryan Moore went for broke aboard the 11-8 favourite.
It had fleetingly looked straightforward, but things rarely are with Estimate.
Outsider Kalann and eventual runner-up Whiplash Willie suddenly burst on to the scene, joining Stoute’s inmate in near-unison as Town Moor hunkered down for a pulse-chasing finale.
But Estimate revels in a fight, particularly over extreme distances, and pulled out a little more to collect by a length and a quarter.
Stoute, surprisingly winning this race for a first time, said: “She’s a lively filly that has a lot of energy and gets bored every now and again.
“Her resolution can never be questioned, but she is a character, and they (the staff) do a great job with her.
“I think we have to consider it (Melbourne Cup), but I won’t make the final decision. I’m not paying!
“You’d wonder a bit about the ground at Flemington as she does like a little bit of forgiveness in it. We’ll think about it and discuss it with the Queen’s racing advisor John Warren.”
Warren’s chief concern about sending Estimate across the globe to Australia would be the protection of a thoroughbred who will eventually become a most appealing prospect as a broodmare.
He said: “Obviously the travelling is a huge ask as well, so there are many complexities.”
“There are only three options – Ascot (Champions Day), Paris (Prix du Cadran at Longchamp) and Melbourne. My hunch is she probably won’t go to Australia.