Japan Gets His Campaign Underway


Japan | Scoop Dyga

Ballydoyle missed out with an unusually low-key representation at the Chester May meeting on Wednesday, but one of their big guns is rolled out on Thursday as Japan (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) is relaunched in the G3 Ormonde S. Tackling the extended 13-furlong trip which is the furthest he has gone so far in his career, the 2019 G1 Juddmonte International and G1 Grand Prix de Paris hero looks to put a disappointing end to his 2020 season behind him. Tailing off following his third placing in the G1 Eclipse at Sandown in July, the 5-year-old will have his stamina tested by the impressive G2 QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup winner Trueshan (Fr) (Planteur {Ire}), who races under a five-pound penalty due to those exploits.

Ryan Moore is looking forward to being reunited with Japan. “Ideally, we probably could have done without all the recent rain, but he finished fourth in a deep ground Arc a couple of years ago and is pretty versatile and hopefully his Group 1 class will see him through,” he said. “This is the longest trip he has faced, but the way in which he has finished off his races over a mile and a half when at his best suggests it should not be an issue. It'll take a very good one to beat him if he is on his A-game.”

In the Listed Dee S., Godolphin's Yibir (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) bids to build on his comeback effort when third in the Apr. 23 G3 Sandown Classic Trial. “He's sharpened up for that run at Sandown quite noticeably at home,” trainer Charlie Appleby commented. “We're putting the cheekpieces on him, just because he's got similar characteristics to his sister [Wild Illusion]–it's not that he's ungenuine, it's just to keep him focused. We didn't want to put the cheekpieces on and step him up to a mile and a half at the same time, so we opted to keep him to 10 furlongs.”

With eight wins in this, Aidan O'Brien knows what kind of material is required and last year's G2 Royal Lodge S. runner-up and G2 Futurity S. third Ontario (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) is the stable pick. Third over seven furlongs on his return in Newmarket's Listed European Free H. Apr. 14, he should appreciate this step up in trip. “He looks to hold pretty strong claims,” Ryan Moore said.  “He finished a good third in what appears a decent Free Handicap on his return, and his pedigree would give you every encouragement that the step up from seven to 10 furlongs or so here will suit this Galileo colt a lot better. He finished second in a Royal Lodge at two, while he also finished third to Mac Swiney in soft ground in the Futurity at The Curragh, so you'd have to be pretty hopeful, though his draw [in stall seven] could have been better, obviously.”

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