The Ballydoyle handler was hopeful his Juddmonte International hero would give John Gosden’s dual King George heroine Enable a run for her money in the midsummer highlight, but he was in trouble before the home turn.
🗣”The next day he was very sore.”— Racing TV (@RacingTV) July 30, 2020
Aidan O’Brien believes that a stone bruise may have been to blame for Japan’s below-par run in the King George at Ascot.
The @Ballydoyle handler explains more 👇 pic.twitter.com/vJY16mBvUs
As Enable cruised to an unprecedented third King George victory, Japan came home last of three runners, with his Irish Derby-winning stablemate Sovereign splitting the pair in second.
Speaking after saddling Japan’s full-brother Mogul to win the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood on Thursday, O’Brien said: “Japan came back a little bit sore from the King George.
“He had a bad stone bruise the following day, so maybe he was feeling that on the fast ground. These things take a bit of time to show up, but the next day he was very sore.
“Maybe that was the reason for his disappointing run.”
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