LAST year’s Gold Cup heroine Estimate got back on the winning trail in the colours of the Queen in the Socialites Electric Cigarettes Doncaster Cup.
Sir Michael Stoute’s mare only narrowly failed to defend her crown at Royal Ascot in June and, although disappointing on her next appearance at Goodwood, she was back on song when runner-up in the Lonsdale Cup at York.
Sent off the 11-8 favourite for her latest assignment on Town Moor, Estimate was always in a good position in the hands of Ryan Moore and appeared poised to strike early in the home straight.
There was a brief moment of concern as Estimate looked slightly awkward when coming under pressure, with her tongue hanging out, but the further she went the better she looked and she was well on top at the finish.
Whiplash Willie ran a fine race to take second, beaten a length and a quarter, with Irish raider Kalann just a neck away in third.
The Ed Dunlop-trained Times Up, bidding for a third successive victory in the two-and-a-quarter-mile Group Two, travelled well for a long way but faded out of contention.
John Warren, the Queen’s racing advisor, said: “Ryan said he had a good bit of petrol in the tank. He said her last two runs have brought her back to where she was, which is obviously great.
“She is such a game filly. The Queen would be so proud, she would have got a real buzz out of it.”
Moore confirmed: “She was never going to get beaten today. She travelled sweetly and I didn’t have anything to really bring me long enough.
“When she’s in front she just waits a bit, but when she feels them coming she battles away.
“I hadn’t really asked her a serious question and there was plenty in the tank.”
Stoute said: “It was great seeing her win as she ran such a blinder in the Gold Cup. Goodwood just didn’t suit her, it was just too firm for her there.
“She’s 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 [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 and John Warren.”