Japan earns first Group One win in Grand Prix de Paris
Japan (3c Galileo - Shastye, by Danehill) was well fancied to register his first top-level win in the Gr.1 Grand Prix de Paris at ParisLongchamp yesterday after an impressive success in the Gr.2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot and the strapping son of Galileo duly delivered scoring by half a length from Slalom. His victory provided Galileo with a landmark 80th Gr.1 winner.
“He’s a really beautiful horse, a beautiful mover who is well-balanced and has a good mind” jockey Ryan Moore said “He did what he had to do today and is a lovely horse moving forward. I didn’t have to get too serious with him, just give him a couple of little flicks to keep his mind on the job.”
Trainer Aidan O’Brien commented “He’s a horse who will idle in front and never win by far and he only did at Ascot because the pace was very strong and the field came back to him. He’s like that at home, he never does too much. We thought there might be a slow pace here and so we had to ride him handy, which is not ideal as when he gets there he waits a little bit. We have rushed him a little bit race-to-race this year, from the Dante to the Derby and then Ascot, so we were thinking of a little break. We’re delighted to get this and we’ll maybe look at the [Sept. 14 G1 Irish] Champion [at Leopardstown] or something like that around that time and give him an Arc prep.”
Japan broke his maiden over 7f on his second start at two and took the Gr.2 Beresford Stakes just 18 days later. Third in the Gr.1 Derby, he ran out a 4½ length winner of the Gr.2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Bred by Newsells Park Stud on the proven Galileo - Danehill cross, he is a full-brother to Gr.2 Middleton Stakes heroine and Gr.1 Oaks runner-up Secret Gesture, and the Gr.3 International Stakes victor Sir Isaac Newton. They are out of the Listed Pontefract Castle Stakes second Shastye (Danehill), who is a half-sister to the Gr.1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe hero and sire Sagamix, the Gr.1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner and sire Sagacity and the Gr.2 Prix de Malleret victrix Sage Et Jolie; dam of the Gr.1 Prix d’Ispahan winner and sire Sageburg.