Estimate sparkles in workout
Hopes of a Gold Cup repeat for Estimate at Royal Ascot seemingly rose markedly after the Queen's mare shone in a piece of work in Newmarket on Saturday morning.
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The five-year-old has only been seen once since her famous triumph 12 months ago, when she became the first horse running in the colours of a reigning monarch to lift the historic staying championship.
Stoute admitted earlier this week that a setback in her preparation had hindered her progress but that he was expecting a bold defence of her crown.
Estimate and Ryan Moore worked with Hillstar on the Al Bahathri Polytrack, coming out on top.
Speaking at Sandown, the Queen's racing manager John Warren said: "She's not as tuned as last year with the Sagaro run, but then she's with a master trainer. Sir Michael rang me this morning to say she had done a really nice piece of work.
"She did a serious piece about 10 days ago and needed a couple of pieces of fine-tuning, but he said 'We're where I need to be'."
Trainer Marco Botti has however warned Tac De Boistron will not take his chance in the same race if he considers the ground too fast for the seven-year-old who won the Sagaro Stakes impressively over the course on soft ground in the spring.
"I've checked the forecast and there's no rain at all on the cards, but they did have some last night," said Botti.
"We will monitor the ground. If it's good to firm I don't think he'll run. We would like to run, but it depends on the ground."