“It’s unbelievable – I can’t hear myself talking, there’s so much clapping,” said a euphoric Frankie, who was adding to a victory here yesterday on what is his final year in the saddle ahead of his planned retirement.
The win was all the more impressive given the fact that this was just Courage Mon Ami’s fourth career start – horses usually have a great deal more experience to be able to win this race.
“I thought that this was a bridge too far going from handicaps to a Group race, but we had a great run and really, he’s still a baby,” explained Frankie.
Courage Mon Ami, a four-year-old gelding by Frankel and out of Lemon Drop Kid mare Crimson Ribbon, is now unbeaten in all four of his starts and this was his first time stepping up in trip to 2m3f, having previously run over 1m4f and 1m6f. He came from the back of the field today to beat second-placed Coltrane, who was ridden by Oisin Murphy and trained by Andrew Balding, by three quarters of a length.
John Gosden said: “We didn’t know whether he’d stay the trip today as you can’t practise over two and a half miles at home but he stayed cool, Frankie saved every inch on the inside and luckily he managed to wriggle through to the front.
“It was a great ride from Frankie. He has had a phenomenal career – we have been working together on and off for 30 years and we’ve only had one argument during that time – we’ve kicked on with life.”
Don’t miss the full report from Royal Ascot 2023 in the 29 June issue of Horse & Hound magazine, plus we will be bringing you all the top stories from the meeting as and when they happen on horseandhound.co.uk
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