I break into my Delhi doings to note something rather lovely has happened at Ascot this afternoon. The Queen has won the Gold Cup, the great stamina test of the five day meeting. Not only has she never won this race before today, she is the first reigning monarch to ever win it. It’s not an easy race to win. None of them are at Ascot. And this is the best bit – she won the race with a mare on her seventh start ever. The mare, with little enough experience, running the furthest she’s even been in a race in her life, beats the boys. And wait for this, she didn’t just beat the boys, she rallied to beat the boys, Simenon who came second, by a neck. She rallied. Simenon came fast and furious at her and she came back at him to win. Now that’s something worth writing about.
The name of this mare is Estimate and she is trained by Sir Michael Stoute. The jockey up was Ryan Moore. Now, I have had my differences with Sir Michael Stoute but after hearing him on the radio this morning, on the Radio 4 Today programme, I was ready to bury the hatchet. He spoke in warm terms of both the horse and owner. I felt myself soften to the man (after about ten years!). Estimate’s win seals it. He has done a good job with her, and more importantly, he will have given a great supporter of the game, an old lady, who happens to be the Queen, an absolutely sterling day out. Life isn’t easy when you’re older, the weak need not apply as the saying goes. I am no great monarchist by any means, but you can’t say the Queen hasn’t worked her socks off over her lifetime. I bet there are a thousand things she’d rather not have done, but got on with them. A win in the Gold Cup at Ascot must be a right tonic for her.
I didn’t have a bet and I am saving the replay for later, but in a world of depressing old news, a picture of a happy horse owner with her victorious mare is also a bright spot in my blogworld. The Racing Post has the best picture on the web at the moment, worth a click through for touching horse and owner moment.