Goodwood Cup 2023: Courage Mon Ami fav after Gregory KO
Ascot Gold Cup winner Courage Mon Ami heads Coral’s betting for Tuesday’s Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup 2023 at 2/1 ahead of the day one feature.
Stablemate and fellow Wathnan Racing-owned star Gregory had been well backed in the build-up to this year’s Qatar Goodwood Festival but misses out.
“Courage Mon Ami drifted out to 6/1 for the Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup when it looked as if connections would rely on Gregory in this race,” said Coral’s David Stevens.
“But now the Ascot Gold Cup winner has been given the green light, he’s just reclaimed favouritism for Tuesday’s race, ahead of his old rival Coltrane, who is 10/3 to gain revenge from the Royal meeting.”
The Group One staying contest is the feature of Glorious Goodwood’s opening day and could live up to its star billing.
John and Thady Gosden’s unbeaten Courage Mon Ami was three-quarters of a length clear of Coltrane at Ascot and will once again be the mount of Frankie Dettori.
“John was keen to train both him and Gregory for the race and soft ground or probable soft ground swayed the decision towards running Courage Mon Ami, while Gregory will now take a different route, with his main aim being the St Leger,” said Richard Brown, racing adviser to the owners.
“Frankie will ride and he’s drawn five. He’s back in trip but he won there impressively before the Gold Cup and we know he handles the track. I don’t think it will be a problem coming back to two miles, it was always the question before Ascot if he would stay two and a half.
“The horse is in good form and he did his last piece of work on Friday and both John and Thady were delighted with him.”
“Emily Dickinson came out of the Curragh very well,” said O’Brien. “Ryan (Moore) was happy with her and felt she won very easily. She is a filly we really fancied for the Gold Cup. She ran a good race and came out of it well.
“She loved the ease in the ground at the Curragh. She comes out of races on fast ground perfectly, which suggests it does not bother her, but she appears much better with an ease in the ground. It hinders other horses, whereas she appears to grow another leg on soft ground.
“Since the Goodwood Cup has been upgraded to a Group One, it has been brilliant. It is a very prestigious race and a unique race because two miles on the Goodwood track is very different. It is a difficult race to win, but we always try to have a horse that is good enough to win it.”
Other names to note amongst the declarations include Marco Botti’s Yorkshire Cup winner Giavellotto and Roger Varian’s St Leger hero Eldar Eldarov.
Connections of 16/1 chance Tashkhan are willing the rain to keep falling ahead of his shot at Goodwood Cup glory.
Brian Ellison’s five-year-old has been an ever-present in the top staying contests in recent years, counting a second in the 2021 British Champions Long Distance Cup and a fifth in the following year’s Ascot Gold Cup as some of the highlights.
“He stays longer than the mother-in-law,” said Ellison. “He doesn’t need to have it heavy or anything, but obviously the softer the better for him, that will give him more of a chance.”
2/1 Courage Mon Ami
5/1 Emily Dickinson
17/2 Eldar Eldarov
All odds correct at date of publication