Galileo’s Japan Takes the Grand Prix de Paris

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LCP, Gr. Stk, 600000G1 Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (12f)Winner: Japan (GB), c, 3 by Galileo (Ire)

Japan | Scoop Dyga

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Aidan O’Brien’s middle-distance colts had carried all before them in the G1 Epsom and Irish Derbys and on Sunday evening it was the turn of Japan (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) to continue the relentless momentum in the G1 Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris. While the impressive G2 King Edward VII S. winner will have to have plenty more in the tank to repeat this success over the same distance in ParisLongchamp’s October showcase event, there was a suggestion that the 1-2 favourite was going through the motions as he imposed a half-length defeat on the frustrating Slalom (Fr) (Intello {Ger}). “He’s a really beautiful horse–a beautiful mover who is well-balanced and has a good mind,” jockey Ryan Moore said after completing the kind of weekend group 1 double that propels riders of his ilk to greater success. “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.”
While Japan’s time of 2:27.07 was highly respectable, it was some way off the monstrous 2:24.30 registered by the stable’s Scorpion (Ire) (Montjeu {Ire}) in the race’s inaugural running over this trip in 2005. Always travelling within himself in a share of third as Western Australia (Ire) (Australia {GB}) gave him the requisite target up ahead with the hooded Jalmoud (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) sitting second, the handsome bay was cajoled into action before the final turn. Asked the question once straightened for home, his response was to put a length and a half into the chronically slow-starting Slalom with 300 metres remaining. Out of reach and reportedly idling as that Wertheimer homebred got going, he failed to romp away as he had at the Royal meeting and the seemingly-exposed Godolphin pair of Jalmoud and Roman Candle (GB) (Le Havre {Ire}) clung on to be only a further 3/4 of a length and a neck away at the finish.
It may be that Japan is an undemonstrative colt, showing such little sparkle when getting up late to break his maiden over seven furlongs on heavy ground at Listowel’s harvest festival in September that Donnacha O’Brien opted not to ride him in the G2 Beresford S. With Moore on Mount Everest (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and O’Brien on Sovereign (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), Japan had traded as the outsider of the trio in that Naas contest but pulled it out of the bag for Seamie Heffernan. Widely regarded as the yard’s number one Derby prospect until his spring setback, Japan was the only stable representative to fail to win a recognised trial for the blue riband as he managed only fourth in the G2 Dante S. at York May 16. Friendless for the June 1 Epsom Classic, he produced a barnstorming effort at 20-1 there and without Wayne Lordan losing his stick late might have fared better than third.
Aidan O’Brien was applying his customary forensic analysis in the immediate aftermath of another high-profile Ballydoyle triumph in France. “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 explained. “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 is a full-brother to Secret Gesture (GB), who was second in the 2013 G1 Epsom Oaks and G1 Preis Der Diana and was disqualified from first place in the 2015 GI Beverly D. S. Retiring with a G2 Middleton S. the best she could offer, there was a suggestion that she was capable of greater things and that same sentiment applied to another full-sibling Sir Isaac Newton (GB). Having cost 3.6 million gns at Tattersalls October–almost three times the sum paid for Japan–he took The Curragh’s G3 International S. and Royal Ascot’s Listed Wolferton S. and was fourth in the G1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth S. and G1 Juddmonte International, but it has been reported that Aidan O’Brien always held him in higher esteem than he showed on the track.
The listed-winning dam Shastye (Ire) (Danehill), whose 2-year-old full-brother to Japan named Mogul (GB) was a 3.4million gns hit at the latest Tattersalls October Book 1 Sale and is also housed at Ballydoyle, is a half-sister to the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe hero Sagamix (Fr) (Linamix {Fr}) and the G1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud-winning sire Sagacity (Fr) (Highest Honor {Fr}). Also a half to the dams of the G1 Prix d’Ispahan winner Sageburg (Ire) (Johannesburg) and G1 Prix Saint-Alary winner Sagawara (GB) (Shamardal), she is out of the G2 Prix de Royallieu winner and G1 Gran Premio di Milano runner-up Saganeca (Sagace {Fr}). Shastye also has a filly foal by Galileo waiting in the wings.
Sunday, ParisLongchamp, France
JUDDMONTE GRAND PRIX DE PARIS-G1, €600,000, ParisLongchamp, 7-14, 3yo, c/f, 12fT, 2:27.07, g/s.
1–JAPAN (GB), 128, c, 3, by Galileo (Ire)
    1st Dam: Shastye (Ire) (SP-Eng), by Danehill
    2nd Dam: Saganeca, by Sagace (Fr)
    3rd Dam: Haglette, by Hagley
1ST GROUP 1 WIN. (1,300,000gns Ylg ’17 TAOCT). O-Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier & Michael Tabor; B-Newsells Park Stud (GB); T-Aidan O’Brien; J-Ryan Moore. €342,840. Lifetime Record: GSW & G1SP-Eng, GSW-Ire, 7-4-0-1, €766,526. *Full to Secret Gesture (GB), GSW & MG1SP-Eng, G1SP-Fr & Ger, GISP-US, $746,427; and 1/2 to Sir Isaac Newton (GB), GSW-Ire, SW-Eng & GSP-Aus, $403,231; and Maurus (GB) (Medicean {GB}), SW & MGSP-Aus, $403,286. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Slalom (Fr), 128, c, 3, Intello (Ger)–Zagzig (GB), by Selkirk. O/B-Wertheimer et Frere (FR); T-Andre Fabre. €137,160.
3–Jalmoud (GB), 128, c, 3, New Approach (Ire)–Dancing Rain (Ire), by Danehill Dancer (Ire). O/B-Godolphin (GB); T-Charlie Appleby. €68,580.
Also Ran: Roman Candle (GB), Soft Light (Fr), In Favour (GB), Kasaman (Fr), Western Australia (Ire). Click for the Racing Post result or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. Video, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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