Ladies’ day at Royal Ascot lived up to its name today (Thursday 20 June) when two fillies recorded memorable wins for female connections.
In an emotional day Estimate made history by providing The Queen with her first winner in the Gold Cup, while Riposte won for Sir Henry Cecil’s widow, Lady Cecil.
The Queen looked on delighted as her four-year-old filly won the Group One Gold Cup. It was the first time in the 207-year history of the race that it had been won by a reigning monarch.
Dressed in regal purple The Queen, who was due to present the trophy to the winner, received her prize from her son, the Duke of York.
Estimate is trained in Newmarket by Sir Michael Stoute and was ridden by Ryan Moore. She was sent off the 7-2 favourite and held off Simenon by just a neck.
The filly also won at the Royal meeting last year, taking the Queen’s Vase.
“It’s fantastic to ride a winner here for the Queen and in the Gold Cup, it’s very special,” said Ryan Moore.
Tears in the paddock
It was a poignant victory for three-year-old filly Riposte, who won the Ribblesdale Stakes under the banner of Lady Cecil. The widow of Sir Henry was granted a temporary license by the British Horseracing Authority after her husband’s death last week (Tuesday 11 June) to enable her to send out his runners for the Royal Meeting.
Riposte was ridden by Tom Queally and despite being slow out of the stalls, she made up ground and won by two and a quarter lengths to Just Pretending.
“This is for Henry,” said Lady Cecil. “It’s been hard, but keeping busy helps. Henry loved Ascot, not just the fashion, but the racing and everything about it.”