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JAPAN: Former Derby third remains sizeable price for Juddmonte despite Leopardstown win

Japan clocked up his second win in 2021 but is not considered a threat to the principals at next month’s Ebor Festival



Japan (second right) ridden by Ryan Moore wins The Juddmonte International Stakes ahead of Crystal Ocean (right) ridden by James Doyle in second during Juddmonte International Day of the Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York Racecourse.

2019 Derby bronze medalist Japan remains as big as 33/1 to reclaim his Juddmonte International Stakes crown at York next month despite his Leopardstown heroics on Thursday evening.

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Aidan O’Brien’s charge just held on in the Green Room Meld Stakes by a short head to land the Group 3 under Ryan Moore and pick up a seventh career win in the process for Ballydoyle, his second of the season on top.


But he falls a fair way down the pecking order in the Group 1 on the Knavesmire that he landed two seasons ago when denying Crystal Ocean, appearing a huge double-figure price to recapture his former glory.

He gave O’Brien his first win in the race since 2014 when scooping the price as a three-year-old, but bookmakers are confident the stable now have far more attractive options to saddle in Yorkshire this time around.

Aidan O'Brien
Aidan O’Brien’s St Mark’s Basilica is the current ante-post favourite for August’s Juddmonte International Stakes

Moore told the Racing Post after proceedings in Foxrock yesterday: “That was a nice performance. I got to the front a little sooner than ideal and he was waiting a little bit when he got there.

“But when the other horses got to him he found plenty. He showed plenty of speed the whole way round and did it well in the end.”

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.