Tag Archive for: Anthony Oppenheimer

Courage Mon Ami given go-ahead for Gold Cup bid

Courage Mon Ami has been given the go-ahead to contest the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in spite of his owner Anthony Oppenheimer’s concerns regarding his stamina for the testing trip.

As a late blooming three-year-old last year, he did not hit the track until mid-September, yet patience paid off as he won a pair of 12-furlong all-weather novice races at Kempton and Newcastle in great style for John and Thady Gosden.

Gelded over the winter, the son of Frankel stepped up to a mile and three-quarters for his handicap debut upon his return to action at Goodwood last month and justified favouritism with a two-and-three-quarter-length victory over Aggagio.

Following his impressive victory to remain unbeaten at the South Downs track, the lightly-raced four-year-old was cut to as short as 10-1 for the Gold Cup on June 22.

Oppenheimer is open-minded about whether Courage Mon Ami will stay the two and a half miles on what will be his first try in Group One company.

He said: “He’s a nice staying horse. I’m not sure he will stay that distance, but we are confident he will stay two miles, we’re just not sure about another four furlongs.”

He went on: “There are definitely possibilities he will stay, but without running we won’t see.

“He is a big, strong horse – a huge horse. We couldn’t really run him much last year because he was so big. With the firm ground, we had to wait and wait. It was a very nice, pleasant surprise when he did run. He strengthened up extremely well.”

With little rain in the forecast over the next week or so, it is a distinct possibility the ground will be on the fast side at Ascot.

“I don’t think the ground will be a problem,” added the owner. “He won the other day on good to firm. He is by Frankel and I don’t think there’s an issue there.

“But if it was heavy or a bit too soft, I’d not be too sure. Good to firm will be no problem at all.”

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Oppenheimer eager to see Lingfield winner Burglar on turf

Anthony Oppenheimer is relishing the start of the Flat turf season and the next move for Burglar following his impressive debut at Lingfield.

Due to the incredibly dry summer in 2022, only three of the Derby-winning owner’s string made the track as two-year-olds meaning there are plenty of fresh-faced three-year-olds waiting to set out on their racing journey over the coming months.

And if the early part of 2023 is anything to go by, Oppenheimer has plenty to look forward to – with both three-year-olds to run in his colours so far hitting the target.

The John and Thady Gosden-trained Burglar was sent off the 10-11 favourite when making his bow at Lingfield and the Derby entrant overcame greenness to create a taking impression in the hands of Rab Havlin.

The Cracksman colt is a best price of 40-1 with Sky Bet for the Epsom Classic and the hugely-successful owner-breeder expects to get a better gauge of his Derby credentials on turf in the spring.

“It’s still early days and none of my horses really ran as two-year-olds because of the firm ground last year, so this is the first time he came out,” explained Oppenheimer.

“He needed the race and he was quite green, but we were pleased with him. Once he got moving he ran on really well and I would think he would need another furlong at least. He’s a big, strong horse and we’ve always fancied him a lot.

“He does have a Derby entry, but it is terribly early and I don’t think we can even suggest it.

“He definitely won’t run until the turf season, he won’t run in March I don’t think, and it will more likely be April. He’s learning all the time.”

The William Haggas-trained Crack Of Light is another to score on debut in the famous black and white silks in the early part of the year.

William Haggas trains the Anthony Oppenheimer-owned filly Crack Of Light
William Haggas trains the Anthony Oppenheimer-owned filly Crack Of Light (Mike Egerton/PA)

The Kingman filly has Oppenheimer’s Royal Ascot winner Frankly Darling in her pedigree and the 85-year-old admits he is tempted to test her staying ability as he continues his search for an Oaks winner.

“We were pleasantly surprised,” he said of Crack Of Light’s winning Wolverhampton start.

“She wasn’t showing us all that, but then she’s a staying filly. You don’t necessarily think she would be, but she did well over nine furlongs and she will be better at 10 furlongs.

“They had some difficulty pulling her up, so I think she will definitely stay 10 furlongs and we will see on the grass once again – she has done nothing recently because we are waiting for April.

“We might test her to see if she stays more than 10 furlongs because if she does, we could go for a race like the Cheshire Oaks or something.

“I’ve always been trying to win the Oaks, so we will see. Hopefully one of my fillies can do that for me.”

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