Japan Shortens for Arc de Triomphe 2019


Japan is having a brilliant 2019 Flat season and the three-year-old once again demonstrated his credentials last weekend when obliging in the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp.

The Aidan O’Brien horse was sent off as 1/2 favourite for the race which was run over one mile and four furlongs, although Ryan Moore was able to give him a cracking spin and the horse was able to settle in third place before striking for victory.

With two furlongs of the race in Paris remaining, the horse was shaken up by the leading jockey and ended up leading inside the final furlong with French horse Slalom the runner-up but unable to get close to Japan in the end.

Japan had previously won at Royal Ascot, with the horse taking the King Edward VII Stakes at the prestigious meeting and for some punters, he was the gamble of the meeting at odds of 6/4.

Previously to this, he had also run a blinder in the Epsom Derby when finishing third to eventual winner Anthony van Dyck, although many think that if the race was run again, then we might have seen Japan cross the line in first place.

Japan will now have a big rest before lining up in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe on Sunday 6 October, with this French classic likely to see the O’Brien horse pitched against the formidable Enable who is seeing a third consecutive victory in this encounter.

Japan is the son of the legendary Galileo and his victory in the Grand Prix de Paris led several bookmakers to cut his odds when it came to the Arc betting market, with Paddy Power and bet365 among the firms who cut his odds.

"We were very happy with him because today the pace was slower," said O'Brien, who was able to land a fourth Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris winner, following Scorpion, Imperial Monarch and Kew Gardens.

"At home when he gets to the front he usually waits. At Ascot they went very fast and when he came there the rest of the field died away.

"Here they didn’t go fast early and then it was sprinting all the way. Knowing the horse we were very happy with him.

"The Arc always has been [in our minds] and after the last day we wanted to give him one more run and so it was nice to come here. He would then have a possibility of the Irish Champion or coming back here for the Niel," said O'Brien.

Enable is currently the 6/4 favourite to win the Arc although the reigning champion will have to concede three pounds to Japan or any other three-year-old pretender in the race, with the team at Coolmore quietly confident they can get the job done.

It’s hard to judge Enable on this year’s efforts considering that the five-year-old has only had one outing during the entire 2019 Flat season. On that occasion, the John Gosden-trained charge obliged as the 4/6 favourite to win the Coral Eclipse.

On that occasion, Frankie Dettori was able to steer the horse to victory at Sandown where he got the better of Magical, another Aidan O’Brien horse who was ridden by Ryan Moore.

Last October, Enable won as the even money favourite in Arc when beating Sea of Class by a short neck, while the best-performing Aidan O’Brien horse in the race was Capri in fifth place.

Twelve months previously to this, the horse was sent off as the 10/11 favourite when winning his first ever Arc title, this time winning in a convincing fashion with a two-and-a-half lengths win over Cloth of Stars.