As a huge fan of the sport of horse racing and the science of equine breeding, attending Royal Ascot is far more than just a duty for Her Majesty The Queen and the fate of the horses she owns always adds an extra dimension of intrigue for patriotic punters at the meeting.
Last year her chief hope seemed sure to be the former Epsom Derby favourite Carlton House, who went off second favourite behind Aidan O’Brien’s So You Think in the Prince Of Wales Stakes, but he could only muster a second place for the monarch. However she was not to be denied thanks to another runner trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore.
Estimate was sent off a heavily backed 3/1 favourite for the Queens Vase and duly obliged by five lengths to bring about the amusing scene of Queen Elizabeth being presented the race’s trophy by her husband Prince Philip.
Her Majesty has two runners taking part at this year’s meeting and the first is last year’s victorious filly.
Estimate made it two races unbeaten at the Berkshire track on her seasonal reappearance and attempts to score over 2m4f in the Ascot Gold Cup having won at the meeting over 2m as a three-year-old.
A leading fancy for the stayer’s Group 1, she’s currently 6/1 joint-favourite with Dermot Weld’s 2009 winner Rite Of Passage.
Border Legend is the Queen’s other runner and the Roger Charlton-trained son of Selkirk will mix it in the heat of the Royal Hunt Cup’s 1m cavalry charge, for which he’s currently a 33/1 shot.
The handicapper finished less than a length behind the highly progressive Lahaag on his final start of last season, but has endured two fairly demoralising runs this term and will have to bounce back in some style to take such a competitive event.
Ladbrokes offer a right royal 250/1 patriotic special on the pair both doing Her Majesty proud with victories, whilst the more cautious punter can back them both to place at 25/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.