Watch a full replay of how Dartmouth, owned by The Queen, edged out his rivals in the Yorkshire Cup at York on Friday plus an interview with winning jockey Ryan Moore
After the well-backed 11-4 favourite had stayed on strongly to edge out Simply Verse, who raced on the opposite side of the track, bookmakers issued prices about the winner following up in the Gold Cup and reviving glorious memories of Estimate’s win in the royal silks in 2013.
But Her Majesty's racing advisor, John Warren, believes the 2m4f showpiece could empty him for the rest of the year and said a defence of his Hardwicke Stakes crown, 48 hours later, would be at the top of his agenda.
Her said: "I suspect Sir Michael [Stoute, the trainer] will be looking at the Hardwicke again. That's his sort of race.
"The Gold Cup would be a big ask. The thing is he would give his all and may leave his whole season behind.
"My view is that he's so good at what he's doing there's no need to find out.
"I'd say it will be the Hardwicke and then we might try and find out if he is a Cup horse.”
Making his challenge on the stands side rail, Dartmouth edged out Simple Verse, the 2015 St Leger winner, who was on the opposite side of the track.
The pace-setting High Jinx, having his first race for two years, rallied gamely to grab third.
"I didn't think he was going to get there because they were so wide,” Warren said. “Ryan had this plan to come this side, so he knew what he was doing, but I don't think he anticipated they were going to be so far away widthwise as they were.
"It was hard to see from the stands whether he was going to get up. It was a remarkable ride, he's an absolute professional.
"This horse is exceptionally brave, so tough and genuine. He always tries. Today proved he can pull out all the stops when he wants to.”
Moore added: "He felt very easy the whole way, he's got mile-and-a-half pace, he was just doing a little too much in stages.
"He travelled beautifully and is such an honest horse, but it didn't help that I was apart from them and he's done very well.
"That's his fourth Group race now, we know what he is, he's a very honest horse."
Simple Verse definitely heads for the Gold Cup next, while plans for Dartmouth after the Hardwicke remain fluid.
“We will have to look at the opportunities,” Warren said. "Dubai was the plan after Canada [last year], where it went wrong, but he had a setback which meant he couldn't go which was a shame as it would have been nice to have a runner at the Carnival.
"We've always regarded him as nearly a Group One horse but abroad, sometimes that is enough to win a Group One."
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