Sport Horse Racing

Monday 11 December 2017

Estimate bids to escape controversy with Goodwood goal

Estimate, the Queen's horse, is allowed to continue racing while officials investigate her drugs test failure. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Estimate, the Queen's horse, is allowed to continue racing while officials investigate her drugs test failure. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The Queen's Estimate will bid to repair her tarnished reputation tomorrow when she lines up against nine rivals in the Artemis Goodwood Cup.

Last year's Ascot Gold Cup winner has been at the centre of the morphine controversy as she failed a drugs test, believed to be down to contaminated feed, after finishing second in the Gold Cup last month.

However, the Michael Stoute-trained five-year-old is allowed to race while officials continue their investigations into a spate of such cases in England.

Last year's winner Brown Panther will bid for a repeat after connections decided not to take the Tom Dascombe-trained six-year-old to Ascot for the King George at the weekend.

Ahzeemah, runner-up last year, is in the mix again, while owners Godolphin and trainer Saeed bin Suroor also have Princess of Wales's Stakes victor Cavalryman and Excellent Result declared for the two-mile Group Two.

Northumberland Plate scorer Angel Gabrial goes for Pattern-race success while Brass Ring, Forgotten Voice, Whiplash Willie and Moment In Time make up the runners.

There is no Irish representation after Aidan O'Brien withdrew Eye Of The Storm at the 48-hour final declaration stage.

Meanwhile, Taghrooda is reported to be recovering from the physical effects of her brilliant victory in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

John Gosden's charge suffered a few minor cuts and bruises when becoming only the second filly after Pawneese in 1976 to win that race and the Oaks in the same season.

Her appearance was down to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, who took the brave call to bypass the Darley Irish Oaks and take on the colts and older horses, including his Coral-Eclipse winner Mukhadram.

"Sheikh Hamdan was obviously thrilled," his racing manager Angus Gold said.

"It was a big call of his, as everybody said, and I think he will have got a lot of satisfaction from being proved right and she's proved herself well out of the ordinary, so it's lovely for everybody.

"Sheikh Hamdan's policy has always been, bar the odd one, to retire three-year-old fillies at the end of their year.

"With a filly like this you've won a Classic, you've won a King George – in his view she will not have a lot left to prove so he'd rather she was breeding in the paddocks.

"As far as I known John (Gosden) is happy with her. She's got a few nicks and bruises, nothing that a bit of time won't heal."

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