One of Queen’s favourite horses immortalised on her Norfolk estate at Sandringham
- Credit: Ian Burt
She almost gleams with pride as the low autumn sun rises through the pine trees and catches the sleek frame that powered her over the turf.
The life-sized statue of Estimate, whose victories include winning the Gold Cup at Ladies' Day, at Ascot in 2013, gazes across the gravel drive up to the front door of Sandringham House, as if expecting the monarch to come down the steps.
She was cast by sculptress Tessa Campbell-Fraser, who visited the Royal stud at Sandringham where estimate now stands as a brood mare.
'The sculptor talked about the horse having quite a determined character,' said Helen Walch, the Queen's public enterprises manager.
'That's why she did her with her ears up and her head cocked. You can see this is a horse with quite a bit of presence.'
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The Queen toured Ms Campbell-Fraser's foundry near London's Canary Wharf to watch some of the metal being poured for the statue.
The artist, who is married to the impressionist Rory Bremner, was once commissioned to paint Elizabeth II with her corgis before she turned from canvas to sculpting in the late 1990s.
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Her statue of Estimate, which took 10 weeks to complete, was a present to the Queen from King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain, to mark 200 years of co-operation between his country and the UK.
Foaled in 2009, Estimate was given to the Queen by the Aga Khan. As well as winning the Gold Cup for a reigning monarch for the first time, she also won the Doncaster Cup, Sagaro Stakes and Queen's Vase. Now at Sandringham Stud, she had her first foal earlier this year.
Horses owned by the Queen have won more than 1,600 races. They include every British classic apart from the Derby. When Estimate won the Gold Cup, the Queen reportedly turned to her trainer, Sir Michael Stoute, and told him it was the race she had wanted to win more than any other.