Courage Mon Ami given go-ahead for Gold Cup bid

Thursday, Jun 08, 2023

LONDON: Courage Mon Ami has been given the go-ahead to contest the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in spite of his owner Anthony Oppenheimer’s concerns regarding his stamina for the testing trip.

As a late blooming three-year-old last year, he did not hit the track until mid-September, yet patience paid off as he won a pair of 12-furlong all-weather novice races at Kempton and Newcastle in great style for John and Thady Gosden.Gelded over the winter, the son of Frankel stepped up to a mile and three-quarters for his handicap debut upon his return to action at Goodwood last month and justified favouritism with a two-and-three-quarter-length victory over Aggagio.

Following his impressive victory to remain unbeaten at the South Downs track, the lightly-raced four-year-old was cut to as short as 10-1 for the Gold Cup on June 22.Oppenheimer is open-minded about whether Courage Mon Ami will stay the two and a half miles on what will be his first try in Group One company.

He said: “He’s a nice staying horse. I’m not sure he will stay that distance, but we are confident he will stay two miles, we’re just not sure about another four furlongs.” With little rain in the forecast over the next week or so, it is a distinct possibility the ground will be on the fast side at Ascot.“I don’t think the ground will be a problem,” added the owner. “He won the other day on good to firm. He is by Frankel and I don’t think there’s an issue there.“But if it was heavy or a bit too soft, I’d not be too sure. Good to firm will be no problem at all.”