Japan Now 5/1 to Win Arc de Triomphe 2019


Japan has had a brilliant season although it started off in a downcast fashion after the three-year-old was only able to finish fourth in the Dante Stakes at York on 16 May.

Trainer Aidan O’Brien was left scratching his head as to why the horse hadn’t run up to scratch, while the Irishman was again puzzled when his charge could only finish third to Anthony Van Dyck in the Epsom Derby, although it was an exciting finish and perhaps Japan needed two outings before he really slipped into top gear.

Since that Classic race at Epsom, the horse has won three high-grade races, with Japan landing the spoils in the King Edward VII Stakes when being sent off as the 6/4 favourite. It appeared that there were plenty of “in the know” punters who were backing the horse and he didn’t disappoint.

There was a further success in the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris race at Longchamp on 14 July, with Japan acting well on the French track and he’s likely to return there for the Arc in October.

However, the horse’s best performance to date took place on Wednesday 21 August when we saw him beat Crystal Ocean in the Juddmonte International at the Ebor Festival and punters are now showing an interest in backing the runner to win the prestigious Arc.

Japan was actually sent off as 5/1 for the Juddmonte and many punters expected Crystal Ocean to show too much class considering that brilliant showdown with Enable a few weeks ago.

However, the horse provided O’Brien with his sixth victory in the race, with Ryan Moore coaxing just about enough out of the runner to reel in Crystal Ocean, while Elarqam wasn’t far behind and battled gamely to finish third.

"He's made progress from day one," O'Brien told Racing TV. "He's the type who will never win by far but is a lovely relaxed horse who does what he needs to do. That's the best form of any three-year-old this season."

Jockey Ryan Moore added: "He's got a great temperament. He's kept improving since he ran in the Dante here and ran all the way to the line.

"It was a very hard battle and fortunately this lad got here really late. He's hasn't put a foot wrong and keeps getting better."