By Gavin Beech | | 3 mins
Price On Japan For Juddmonte International Stakes Win Halved
Japan has halved in price for next week’s Juddmonte International Stakes at York after trainer Aidan O’Brien on Wednesday confirmed that his three-year-old colt is being seriously considered for the race.
Japan, who finished third behind stablemate Anthony Van Dyck in the Derby at Epsom, is the current 3/1 ante-post favourite for the St Leger in the autumn so it is somewhat surprising that connections are considering dropping him back to ten furlongs and taking on older horses.
However, the improving son of Galileo is widely perceived to be the best three-year-old colt in training now and punters clearly believe that he has the class to mix it with the cream of the older brigade.
Aidan O'Brien said: "Japan is in good form since his run in France. Everything has gone smoothly with him since then and he is definitely in the mix for York, along with a few others. We have always thought he was a lovely horse and he is progressing nicely this season."
Following a stream of support all day, Coral have been forced to slash Japan’s odds into 5/1 from 12/1.
Juddmonte International Betting Odds
|King of Comedy||3/1||Ladbrokes|
|Circus Maximus||8/1||Paddy Power|
Spokesman Dave Stevens said: “Aidan O'Brien confirmed that Japan is in the mix for next week's Juddmonte International, and that was the cue for punters to not just get stuck into the Group One winner at double figure odds, but to force his price down to the current 6-1.”
If Japan does turn up at York, he is likely to come up against the world’s highest-rated horse, Crystal Ocean, who currently heads the ante-post market at 5/4 with most horse racing bookmakers.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained five-year-old has an official rating of 127 despite being narrowly edged out by Enable in last month's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
The Juddmonte International has never had a northern-trained winner in its 47-year history but Mark Johnston is hoping to put the record straight with Elarqam who is set to be supplemented for the course’s richest race at a cost of £75,000.
Johnston said: “Provided the horse is fine on Thursday morning he'll be supplemented and he looks great at the moment.
“We've won a Group 2 and we've got to try to win a Group 1 now, make him a stallion.”