Wednesday 21 August 2019

Aidan O'Brien to give exciting three-year-old Japan two runs next month

Aidan O’Brien. Photo: Getty Images
Aidan O’Brien. Photo: Getty Images

John Brennan

Aidan O'Brien plans to run his exciting three-year-old Japan in both the Juddmonte International at York next Wednesday and in the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown next month.

Japan was always touted as O'Brien's best three-year-old this year, but he met with a setback in the spring and, off a less that perfect preparation, still finished third in the Epsom Derby.

The horse returned to action last month and won the Grand Prix de Paris on Bastille Day - and is now all set to go again.

"York and Leopardstown are the plans for him," said O'Brien at a media morning in Ballydoyle. "Now plans can change, but right now Japan is going for those two races and we are really excited to see how he gets on."

The great trainer also has his star filly Magical entered in both races. But she has the option of running in the Yorkshire Oaks next Thursday. That would mean taking on wondermare Enable, who has beaten Magical on the last two occasions they met.

"Well, they were great races," said O'Brien, "and we might have a go again. If the colts are going well over the next few days, Magical could swerve taking them on and go for that Yorkshire Oaks."   

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