On June 20, 2013, the four-year-old filly Estimate, owned by Queen Elizabeth II, won the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and, in so doing, became the first winner owned by the reigning monarch since the race was established in 1807. The daughter of Monsun was already a Royal Ascot winner, having justified favouritism when easily winning the Group Three Queen’s Vase at the Royal Meeting in 2012, and was sent off favourite once again, on her first attempt in Group One company, in the Gold Cup.

Estimate took the lead with a furlong to run and, although edging left under pressure when strongly challenged by the eventual runner-up, Simenon, in the closing stages, battled on gamely to win by a neck. To add to the drama, Estimate had to survive a stewards’ inquiry and, although the placings remained unaltered, winning jockey Ryan Moore was stood down for two days for causing accidental interference to the placed horses. Of course, the Gold Cup is one of just three races at Royal Ascot offering a perpetual trophy, which is traditionally presented to the winning owner by the Queen; on this occasion, the Queen herself was presented with the trophy by her son, Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

Estimate went on to finish second, beaten just a neck, in the 2014 renewal of the Gold Cup, but was subsequently disqualified after testing positive for morphine, attributed to a contaminated batch of feed, after the race. Nevertheless, she is commemorated by a life-sized statue, cast by Tessa Campbell-Fraser and presented to the Queen by King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain, which stands outside Sandringham House, the private country retreat owned by the Royal Family in Norfolk.