Estimate win hammers bookies
Queen Elizabeth II became the first reigning Monarch to win one of Flat Racing's most famous races on Thursday, when her filly Estimate took the historic Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.
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The four-year-old bay filly was gifted to Her Majesty on her 80th birthday present by His Highness the Aga Khan - himself a famous racehorse owner.
The win, possibly her most high-profile of all, made it a 22nd Royal Ascot victory for the Queen.
Britain's bookmakers were left reeling by the win. Popular at odds of 7/1 during morning trading, punters flocked to support the Queen's runner - sending her off the well-backed 7/2 favourite.
William Hill's Kate Miller said: ''This was a true patriotic punt on the Queen's runner Estimate, and her victory has handed us a stinging £1.5million payout. Her Majesty is flying the flag for British bettors today!''
Ladbrokes reported that they were happy to celebrate the success despite being 'hammered for a fortune' by the victory of Her Majesty's horse in the feature race of Ladies' Day.
They estimate that it will cost the bookmaking industry millions but hope it will trigger a wave of racing goodwill that will help pay for the hit.
David Williams said: "Racing has a priceless ability to throw up some dream results and we're happy to join in the celebrations.
"Sure, we lost a packet on the race but the day will go down in history and more than pay for itself in upbeat coverage over the days, weeks and months to come.
"Sometimes we need to look beyond the balance sheet and think about the marketing potential. Estimate's win could be the best news for racing - and betting - in a very long time."
Rory Jiwani of Stan James added: "We knew there'd be plenty of money for Estimate and we were hoping either Simenon or Top Trip might foil Her Majesty's horse but she was very brave in getting her head in front.
"It's a great result for punters and a terrible one for the bookies.
"We were top price every runner in the race but unsurprisingly most of the money was for the favourite. The biggest bet we took was one of £10,000 on Estimate to win at 7/1 and there will be plenty of happy punters toasting The Queen tonight.
"Our woes were compounded when Remote took the Tercentenary Stakes with John Gosden's colt sent off the 9/4 favourite after being backed all day.
The punters have had it right off today and we'll be looking to claw back our losses on Friday."