Japan Enters Irish Champion Frame At Leopardstown


Aidan O'Brien's star three year old Japan is now being looked at for the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown next month after his superb performance at York's Ebor meeting which saw him see off the worlds highest rated horse at the time in Crystal Ocean.

The son of Galileo heading into the Group One at York had already had a ver progressive season, making his seasonal debut in the Dante Stakes finishing a staying on fourth but it was a race to really get him fully fit for the Epsom Derby.

He went to the prestigious track and was a neck away from taking the glory but had to settle for third in a three way photo finish but it was refreshing to see him start to live up to his pricey purchase.

After these experiences he started to get the hang of things on the track and when he was sent to Royal Ascot gave one of the performances of the week winning in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes and he then followed that up by landing his first Group 1 of the season over in France in the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp.

This made for a perfect preparation heading to York and although stepping down in trip had previous winning form at 1 mile 2 furlongs when winning the Beresford Stakes as a two year old.

In one of the contests of the week he just managed to get up on the line and take the Group One for his trainer Aidan O'Brien who became the winning most trainer of the contest with six wins.

With all that in mind he could be sent out again sooner than anticipated with the Irish Champion Stakes a perfect contest for the colt to have a go at.

(Credit At The Races) O’Brien said: “He came out of it very well. He hasn’t done much, but seems to be in good form. We’re happy with him.

“Obviously the Irish Champion is there for us to look at with all the horses and we’ll see how they are after a week or 10 days, discuss it with the boys and see what they want to do.”