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Courage Mon Ami ruled out of Ascot Gold Cup defence after setback

Courage Mon Ami has been ruled out of defending his Royal Ascot Gold Cup title after suffering a setback in training, confirms Wathnan racing adviser Richard Brown

Inisherin will head for the Commonwealth Cup
Image: Courage Mon Ami will not run at Royal Ascot next month

Courage Mon Ami will not defend his Gold Cup title at Royal Ascot after suffering a setback.

The five-year-old was bought privately by Wathnan Racing ahead of last year's meeting, having won each of his three previous starts for breeder Anthony Oppenheimer.

Courage Mon Ami then provided one of the moments of the meeting as he took the stayers' crown in the hands of Frankie Dettori, before going on to disappoint in the Goodwood Cup and having to settle for second in the Lonsdale Cup at York on his final start of the campaign.

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Trainers John and Thady Gosden had been preparing the Frankel gelding for a repeat Gold Cup bid, but the team will now rely on Gregory, winner of the Queen's Vase at Ascot last year and third in the Yorkshire Cup on his return earlier this month.

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.

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"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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The Aidan O'Brien-trained Kyprios is the general even-money favourite for the Gold Cup, with Gregory a best-priced 6-1 second-favourite.

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