Horse racing: Dartmouth presents Queen with a belated birthday gift
Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the final day of Royal Ascot in dream style as Dartmouth took the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes and gave her a belated 90th birthday present in her favoured sport.
The monarch - for whom Dartmouth was the final chance of a win as her other runners in the most prestigious race meeting in England had failed to find royal favour - made the last of her previous 22 visits as a winning owner when Estimate won an epic Ascot Gold Cup in 2013.
She greeted the victory with a grin of delight alongside her racing manager John Warren in the Royal Box but then had to survive a stewards enquiry for possible interference with Irish raider Highland Reel.
However, Dartmouth's French jockey Olivier Peslier - who had pinned the Queen's silks together at the neck with his trademark lucky butterfly brooch - persuaded the stewards there was no case to disqualify him.
"This is the Olympics to even have a horse run here let alone win is fantastic," said Warren, after the Queen had stepped up to receive the trophy from her granddaughter Princess Beatrice.
"This means a lot to the Queen. Halfway through the race the Queen turned to me and said 'things are going well' although that final furlong was a tough one to endure!" he added.
For Michael Stoute it was also a landmark victory as not only was it his 10th win in the race - seventh in the last 11 renewals - but he equalled his late great rival Henry Cecil's modern day post World War II record of 75 winners at the Royal meeting.
The 70-year-old Barbados-born handler - who had paid handsome tribute to Cecil when he pulled to within one of him on Friday - took it all in his stride.
"That's great well I hope I don't stop there," he said.
Meanwhile, Twilight Son won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes under another storming ride from Ryan Moore.
The 7/2 shot came from behind to win the Group 1 on the line and give Moore his third winner on Day Five of Royal Ascot, and a sixth of the week.
The Henry Candy trained four-year-old reversed the form on favourite Magical Memory who beat him last time out.
Hong Kong's Gold-Fun ran well into second after a lengthy trip and Signs of Blessing for France came third. Godolphin Racing's Holler, trained by John O'Shea and ridden by James McDonald, finished seventh.
Godolphin Racing's Second Wave, the charge of Charlie Appleby and the ride of Adam Kirby, was second in the Wolferton Handicap, half length behind Sir Issac Newton. Best of Times, trained by Saeed bin Suroor and the ride of James Doyle, placed sixth.
Saeed bin Suroor's Beautiful Romance was fifth under James Doyle in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes. The race was won by Dartmouth, owned by The Queen. - Agencies
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