COURAGE MON AMI BRINGS UP ROYAL ASCOT GROUP 1 HAT-TRICK FOR FRANKEL AT HALF-WAY STAGE
At the half-way stage of Royal Ascot 2023 on Thursday afternoon, COURAGE MON AMI (GB) brought up a hat-trick of Group 1 victories at the meeting for world-leading sire FRANKEL (GB), landing a thrilling renewal of the Group 1 Gold Cup under jockey Frankie Dettori.
The unexposed four-year-old gelding, who was bred by Hascombe & Valiant Stud Ltd and is trained by John and Thady Gosden, was ridden to lead one furlong from home and held on gamely from a persistent COLTRANE to deliver a thrilling battle at the end of the two-and-a-half mile contest. In doing so, Courage Mon Ami kept his unbeaten profile in tact. He now has four wins from four runs to his name.
Courage Mon Ami’s success on Thursday represented a second at the meeting for the gelding’s new owners, Wathnan Racing. The Qatari operation secured the Gold Cup winner privately in the lead up to Britain’s showpiece festival via bloodstock agent Richard Brown, along with yesterday’s Group 2 Queen’s Vase winner, GREGORY (GB).
Frankel has now sired a trio of Group 1 winners at this year’s Royal Meeting. In the opening race of the week, the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum’s homebred TRIPLE TIME led home a one-two for Juddmonte Farms’ linchpin sire, with Cheveley Park homebred INSPIRAL (GB), the winner of last year’s Group 1 Coronation Stakes, picking up second place honours.
Then on Wednesday, Shadwell’s homebred MOSTAHDAF, a five-year-old by Frankel, won the Group 1 Prince Of Wales's Stakes in an impressive manner also for the Gosdens.
Frankel's six Group 1 runners at Royal Ascot this year so far have all finished in the top three of their respective races.
Great British Racing International spoke with Shane Horan, Juddmonte’s Nominations Manager based at Banstead Manor Stud, on Thursday afternoon after the Gold Cup:
“The week has been phenomenal. The timing couldn’t be more important because it’s on the international stage. You’ve got very important owners and breeders from an industry point of view coming from America, Australia and Japan. The Northern Hemisphere season is over and we’re now very much focused on the Southern Hemisphere. There are a lot of Australians around, so this won’t go unnoticed.
On Frankel’s continued success as a sire at the very highest level, Horan added:
“What can you say? Frankel keeps surprising us with what he can do. We’re looking forward to seeing COVEY (GB) [by Frankel] race in the Jersey on Saturday. It’s a big step up for him, but he’s a horse of immense talent. He’s a homebred.”