UK & World News

  • 21 June 2013, 8:20

Royal Ascot: All Smiles As Queen Wins Gold Cup

The Queen has made sporting history by becoming the first reigning monarch to win the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

With a clap of her hands and a beaming smile, she celebrated the "thrilling" moment her thoroughbred filly Estimate finished first.

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie had joined their grandmother for a day at the races and jumped for joy during the dramatic finish.

The Queen was still smiling when she joined jockey Ryan Moore and trainer Sir Michael Stoute in the winners' enclosure for the trophy presentation.

It was the Queen's biggest win since her horse Dunfermline, ridden by jockey Willie Carson, won classic races the Oaks and St Leger in her Silver Jubilee year 1977.

Sir Michael said the Queen greatly appreciated the victory. "It's a special thrill to win this race for the Queen and it will have given her enormous pleasure - she really loves this game and it's a great recreation for her," he said.

"She told me it was a very big thrill and thanked everybody involved."

The Queen has been a passionate horse owner and breeder for much of her 61-year reign, and even whiled away her 87th birthday in April at the yard of a west country trainer, casting her eye over thoroughbreds.

Her horses have also won four out of the five flat racing classics - the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St Leger - with only the Derby eluding her.

The Queen was hoping Estimate would surpass her achievements of last year when she won the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot.

She was not disappointed. As the 4,000 metre race drew to a close, Estimate made her way from the middle of the pack, took on the front runners and beat them to the line.

The victory was an additional boost for the Queen, who has been attending the famous annual meet this week without the Duke of Edinburgh, who is recovering at Windsor Castle after exploratory abdominal surgery.

Still wearing the Queen's racing silks of purple and scarlet with gold braiding, jockey Moore said of Estimate, the 7-2 favourite: "She won well, and to do it for the Queen is fantastic. To win the Gold Cup in her colours is exceptional."

Prime Minister David Cameron also praised the Queen's win, tweeting: "Huge congratulations to Her Majesty for Estimate's victory at Royal Ascot - first time ever a reigning monarch's horse has won the Gold Cup."

William Hill was less enthusiastic about the result, which left it paying out a "stinging" 1.5m to punters who had backed Estimate.

The bookmaker said odds for the Queen's horse had been 7-1 on Thursday morning before shortening to 5-1.