Japan Emerges Triumphant From International Thriller
A thrilling finish to the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes saw the Aidan O’Brien-trained Japan (3c Galileo - Shastye, by Danehill) come out on top to secure a hat-trick of wins.
Last seen taking the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris over a mile and a half in July, the Epsom Derby third faced eight rivals at York on Wednesday, the market led by short-priced favourite Crystal Ocean as they set off on the ten and a half furlong trip.
Ryan Moore tracked the leaders aboard Japan, making headway over two furlongs out and produced a strong challenge approaching the final furlong. Chasing down Crystal Ocean, he was driven out and rallied bravely to lead close home, prevailing by a head on the line.
Ryan Moore was clearly impressed by the winner, commenting after the race, “He had to try so hard and ran all the way to the line. He's very progressive. It was a superb performance.” Aidan O’Brien later discussed possible aims for Japan, revealing, “He's a very exciting horse. The race we were thinking of after this was the Irish Champion Stakes. The Arc and the Breeders' Cup are also possibilities.”
Japan was bred by Newsells Park Stud, who sold the son of Galileo at Book 1 of the Tattersalls Yearling Sales for 1,300,000gns to MV Magnier and Peter and Ross Doyle. He is a full-brother to Sir Isaac Newton, a dual Stakes winner and fourth in the Juddmonte International for the same connections, while own-sister Secret Gesture (Galileo) won four Stakes races and was placed at the highest level multiple times, before being sold for $3.5million.
MV Magnier went to 3,400,000gns for a full-brother to Japan last year and the two-year-old named Mogul finished second on debut earlier this month. They are out of the black-type Danehill mare Shastye, herself a half-sister to Arc hero Sagamix and Group 1 winning juvenile Sagacity.