Estimate tops Distance dozen
The Queen's Estimate faces 11 rivals as she defends her unbeaten record at Ascot in the QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup on Saturday.
The Sir Michae Stoute-trained filly raised the roof at the Royal meeting when she landed a thrilling renewal of the Gold Cup, with the pictures of Her Majesty cheering her home all over the front pages of every newspaper the following day.
Stoute has resisted the urge to run her since due to a couple of niggling problems and this has been her aim for some time.
"By all accounts she's very much on target to peak at the weekend and Ascot seems to be her track," the Queen's racing manager John Warren told At The Races.
"It was soft ground last year in the Queen's Vase, so we're mindful of the conditions, but with her form last year on soft ground she won't be too inconvenienced. The Sagaro this year was on good ground and the Gold Cup this year was on fast ground so she's quite versatile.
"Everything is going to plan and she's on target."
Rite Of Passage won last year's Long Distance Cup for Dermot Weld, but in his absence, the master Irish trainer sends over the unexposed Pale Mimosa.
Joining the Irish raiding party is Johnny Murtagh's Royal Diamond, John Oxx's Saddler's Rock and Aidan O'Brien's improving three-year-old Eye Of The Storm.
John Gosden runs both Aiken, second last year, and Caucus, the mount of William Buick.
Saeed bin Suroor runs the consistent Ahzeemah and William Haggas is represented by the back-to-form Harris Tweed.
Ed Dunlop runs Times Up, who will be ridden by Christophe Soumillon, David Lanigan is represented by Biographer and James Fanshawe's High Jinx is another with claims.