Of all those who go to Royal Ascot next week in search of victory at Flat Racing’s most star-studded meeting, one owner stands out from the crowd.
Six-time NBA All-Star and lifelong equestrian fan, Tony Parker is on a mission to prove the sport is for everyone and has already revealed a potential superstar to the Coronation Stakes contender, Mangosteen.
The French heroine 1000 Guineas is set for a seductive clash with the winners of the equivalent Irish and English competitions in Homeless Songs and Cachet, respectively. live at Sky Sports Racing on Friday.
For Parker – a four-time NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs – his mix with the determined elite of the race reflects his tremendous rise to the top just in his second season at the helm of his stable, the Infinity Nine Horses.
He is the latest big name in the French sports world to start racing, after footballer Antoine Griezmann and Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc, who joined Parker with a stake in Afghanistan formed by Fabrice Chappet.
Speaking at the presentation of a documentary last year that shows his time in ownership, titled “Tony Parker: The Big Bet,” the 40-year-old said: “My idea is to modernize the racing world and make it more popular. I want to share the adventure with people and really promote another image of horse racing. ”
Mangoustine, trained in Chantilly by chief executive Mikel Delzangles, is an 8/1 general shooter for Group One on Friday and will once again partner with 55-year-old riding legend Gerald Mosse.
About her relationship with Parker, Mosse said Sky Sports Racing“We know who he is. I did not know him personally before I started and I never went to a basketball game.
“He is a very good man and a lucky man! Which horse owner for just one year wins like this?
“As the oldest knight in town, I think he was meant to be. No wonder.
“Tony Parker and I have started dating and now we are going to Ascot with a person who is absolutely fantastic. Everything looks perfect to her.
“With experience, you know how difficult it is to take a player to the highest level. I will be lucky to be on board.
“Maybe she will not be strong enough, but whoever beats me will win.” »
tha Delzanngles Sky Sports Competitions: “It’s hard to go to Royal Ascot, we know that. You will not have an easy race and your horse should be 100%.
“She [Mangoustine] was well, calm and happy to do her job. She just wants to work, eat and earn. »