Japan prevails from Trueshan in Ormonde Stakes
A narrowly-beaten third in the 2019 Derby at Epsom, the Galileo colt went on to win the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp and the Juddmonte International at York, before finishing fifth on his final start of the year in the Arc.
Japan might have failed to add to his tally last season, but was still placed in the Eclipse and the King George, so it was no surprise to see Aidan O’Brien’s charge go off as the clear favourite as he had his sights lowered to Group Three company but up in trip for his seasonal reappearance.
Always travelling strongly in the hands of Ryan Moore, the 13-8 chance tracked Alan King’s Long Distance Cup winner Trueshan – who was giving 5lb to the winner – into the straight, before displaying a superior change of gear to run him down and ultimately prevail by three-quarters of a length.
Moore said: “”He’s a beautiful horse who we’ve always held in high regard and he’s won a Juddmonte. Hopefully that will give him a bit of confidence, he didn’t really enjoy that dead ground. He’s a lovely looking horse with a great mind and hopefully he can go on from here.
“The Coronation Cup is an option, he ran well in the Derby there and this should set him up for the bigger races later in the year. I’d expect him to come on from this as well. He’s got some class – I’ve always had a very high opinion of this horse.”
The rider added: “The ground is just sticky enough for him and the trip probably stretches him, but he has loads of class and it’s good that he’s come back with a win.”
That (Gold Cup) will be his next stop if the ground is right
King was understandably delighted with his Champions Day hero Trueshan, who will now head for the Ascot Gold Cup.
The Barbury Castle trainer said: “I’m absolutely thrilled with him and I’ve just spoken to Hollie and she feels the same.
“It’s great to get him out and get him started and I think he’s run a terrific race. I’m very pleased.
“He’s a wee bit slow out (of the stalls) and you just have to roust him a little bit, but Hollie got him into a lovely position and all in all it was a terrific run.
“That (Gold Cup) will be his next stop if the ground is right. We’ll just have to see what the weather does in June.”