sport

Estimate 'back on track now'

Estimate faces a crucial three weeks if she is to be able to defend her Ascot Gold Cup crown for The Queen next month.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained five-year-old has not been seen since finishing only seventh back at Ascot on Champions Day, albeit only beaten three lengths, but faces a race against time if she is to make it back for the Royal meeting.

"She had a slow start this spring so she's been a bit off the pace and behind target a little bit," John Warren, The Queen's racing advisor, told At The Races.

"Sir Michael has her well on target and back on track now.

"Obviously time is running close, but that (the Gold Cup) is her aim and objective and hopefully she'll be there on the big day.

"She'd already won the Sagaro last year so she is a bit behind and fillies can sometimes can do that in the spring.

"She's in no better hands. Hopefully Sir Michael can bring her on nicely and hopefully she'll be there.

"She came home to Sandringham in the winter and fillies can be different each spring.

"The next three weeks will be crucial and Sir Michael will just be building her work up and hopefully he'll get her there in one piece."