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'We are investigating' - Ascot defence in doubt for Courage Mon Ami

Connections of Courage Mon Ami expect to have a clearer idea later this week on whether he will be able to defend his Gold Cup crown after the top-class stayer suffered a setback in training.

John and Thady Gosden’s five-year-old got the better of Coltrane to land the Royal Ascot showpiece under Frankie Dettori, but has not been seen in competitive action since coming off second-best against the same rival in the Lonsdale Cup at York in August.

The Wathnan Racing-owned son of Frankel was being readied for a return to the Berkshire showpiece next month and while his participation must now be in some doubt, Wathnan’s racing adviser Richard Brown has not given up hope.

“I can’t say Royal Ascot is unlikely at the moment because we don’t know,” he said.

“He had a training setback last week, had a little bit of time off and now we are investigating. I know no more than that. We’ll know more, I believe, towards the end of this week.

“I’m not going to say it’s disappointing because we don’t know what it is. Until we find out exactly what we’re dealing with, I don’t know.”

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