Queen Elizabeth II won the Gold Cup Stakes with Estimate on Thursday at Royal Ascot. (Photo courtesy of Horsephotos.com)
Queen Elizabeth II won the Gold Cup Stakes at Royal Ascot on Thursday to become the first reigning monarch to win the prestigious 2 ½-mile race, and U.S. trainer Wesley Ward struck for his third career victory at Royal Ascot.
Estimate, a 4-year-old Monsun filly owned by the Queen, took command in the final furlong of the Gold Cup and held off determined runner-up Simenon to prevail by a neck under jockey Ryan Moore.
RACING AT ROYAL ASCOT
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
Estimate won her two previous races at Ascot. She was the favorite for the Gold Cup following a 1 1/4-length win in the Longines Sagaro Stakes on May 1 at Ascot in her previous start. She went on to complete 2 ½ miles in 4:20.51.
“It's a great thrill and honor as we know how much [the Queen] loves the game,” winning trainer Sir Michael Stoute told Racing Post.
Also on the card, U.S. trainer Ward earned his first win at Royal Ascot since he won a pair of races at the 2009 royal meeting when No Nay Never overcame a troubled start to win the Norfolk Stakes. The Scat Daddy colt hit the starting gate under Joel Roasrio, but soon moved ahead to take command and found a nice rhythm in the five-furlong race for 2-year-olds. No Nay Never lost the lead at about the halfway point, but fought gamely to seize the lead inside the final furlong and prevail by a length.
No Nay Never won his career debut and only previous race by two lengths in April at Keeneland. He was bred in Kentucky by Jayne Doi Johnson and David Sparrow.
No Nay Never completed the five-eighths of a mile in :58.80, which was a new record for a 2-year-old at that distance.