The Unpredictable Courage Mon Ami Approved to Race in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot
Anthony Oppenheimer, owner of Courage Mon Ami, has finally given his approval for the horse to enter into the highly-anticipated Gold Cup race at Royal Ascot. Despite initial concerns over his stamina for such a challenging course, it seems that this late bloomer is ready to take on the competition.
Last year as a three-year-old, Courage Mon Ami didn’t hit the track until mid-September. However, patience paid off as he won two consecutive novice races impressively at Kempton and Newcastle – both of which were held on an all-weather surface under John and Thady Gosden’s care. The gelding underwent a winter castration with Frankel as his sire.
Upon returning to action last month at Goodwood for his handicap debut, he stepped up from racing in shorter distances to one mile and three-quarters. As expected, he justified his favoritism by winning with ease against Aggagio by two-and-three-quarter lengths.
This victory was followed by cutting down odds of him winning the prestigious June 22nd race event down significantly to approximately ten-to-one chance.
Courage Mon Ami: A Mystery?
“He’s a nice staying horse,”
stated Oppenheimer about Courage Mon Ami’s readiness for Group One company.
Although there are varying opinions about whether or not this lightly-raced four-year-old will be able to stay two-and-a-half miles during this particular race event; nonetheless Mr. Oppenheimer is keeping an open mind while expressing confidence that “he will stay two miles.”
“There are definitely possibilities he will stay, but without running we won’t see.”
The owner further emphasized that Courage Mon Ami is a massive horse with great stamina. He had to wait for the right moment last year before allowing him to race due to his size and strength.
Courage Mon Ami: The Ground Factor
A distinct possibility exists that Ascot might have dry soil conditions during this period, something which Mr. Oppenheimer has considered quite carefully:
“I don’t think the ground will be a problem,”
stated the owner confidently.
He believes that given that Courage Mon Ami won on good-to-firm ground in his previous race, there ought not to be an issue if the course should prove similar. As long as it stays mild and firm underfoot during this major event, everything should go off smoothly.