Japan To Bypass King George

Japan To Bypass King George

King Edward VII Stakes winner Japan will bypass a visit back to Ascot for the King George later this month, in favour of contesting the Grand Prix de Paris in France.

Finishing third in the Epsom Derby, his trainer Aidan O'Brien revealed the plan is to head to Longchamp this coming weekend to stay competing against his own age group.

The Galileo colt was an expensive purchase for Coolmore as a yearling, and will contest the same race stablemate Kew Gardens won twelve months ago.

The Ballydoyle boss has kept respective Epsom and Irish Derby winners Anthony Van Dyck and Sovereign in contention for the Group One feature in Berkshire later this month on July 27.

(Credit: AtTheRaces) He said: “We are thinking of going to the Grand Prix de Paris with Japan at the moment.

“That could change, but that is what we are thinking of. He seems to be in good form, he seems to have come out of Ascot well and everything seems well with him so far.”

“We’re thinking Anthony Van Dyck might go to the King George, with Sovereign. It could change, but that’s what we’re thinking at the moment.”

As for other middle-distance star Sir Dragonet - who finished a close fifth at Epsom on just his third ever start at a racecourse, O'Brien has a long term target for him following a short holiday.

He said: “He is on a little bit of break and is just starting to come back off it. We might have a look at running him in the Irish Champion Stakes or sometime around then.

“He could have run before that, but at the moment he is starting to come out of a little bit of a break.

“We are thinking of dropping him back in trip, but he could keep at a mile and a half. We have to start him somewhere and he could also run on Arc trials weekend in France.

"There are plenty of options for him."

The Leopardstown highlight could also be the next port of call for Qipco 2,000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia, who sustained a hamstring problem when fifth in the Irish equivalent.

O'Brien continued: “He has had a break and he is in good form now.

“He has just started back doing good canters again. We are looking at something like the Irish Champion with him and he is another that could have a run before it.”

The next Group One on the table is the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket which kicks off their July Festival.

I Can Fly leads the charge there, but all eyes will be on Middle Park winner Ten Sovereigns in the big Group One sprint on Saturday [July Cup] for O'Brien's team, and the trainer remained upbeat about his fourth in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

He said: “The plan is to run Ten Sovereigns in the July Cup and he seems to have come out of it very well.

“We have others in it, but we are thinking he is the main one at the moment.”

Circus Maximus - who missed the Coral Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday is back fit again and raring to go for the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood, but would need to be supplemented for a fee.

Tattersalls Gold Cup winner and Prince Of Wales's runner-up Magical, finished just around a length down on Enable in Esher at the weekend, and will now head for her own short break after an abundance of racing already this term.