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    Courage Mon Ami is not allowed to defend the Gold Cup
Courage Mon Ami is not allowed to defend the Gold Cup
Courage Mon Ami. Source: sportinglife.com

Courage Mon Ami is not allowed to defend the Gold Cup

Following a setback, Mon Ami shall not defend his Gold Cup crown at Royal Ascot.

The five-year-old, who had been first in all three of his prior starts for breeder Anthony Oppenheimer, was acquired discreetly by Wathnan Racing before the meeting last year.

Then, on his last start of the season, Courage Mon Ami produced one of the highlights of the meeting when he won the stayers' championship from Frankie Dettori. However, he would later disappoint in the Goodwood Cup and had to settle for second in the Lonsdale Cup at York.

The team will now depend on Gregory, who finished third in the Yorkshire Cup on his return earlier this month and won the Queen's Vase at Ascot last year, instead of the Frankel gelding, whose trainers John and Thady Gosden had been preparing for a repeat Gold Cup bid.

Wathnan’s racing adviser Richard Brown said: “It’s unfortunate timing, but thankfully not a serious setback and we are very hopeful he will be back to contest Cup races later in the year. Courage Mon Ami gave Wathnan such a brilliant start last year, and we will miss him on Gold Cup day. We’ll be pinning all our hopes that Gregory will prove an able deputy.”

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