Japan justifies expectations in King Edward romp

Derby third too good for gallant Bangkok

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Japan did what was expected of him in running out a dominant winner of the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Having finished with a flourish to place a close-up third in the Investec Derby at Epsom a little under three weeks ago, Aidan O’Brien’s charge was unsurprisingly a warm order as the 6-4 favourite in the hands of Ryan Moore.

Settled towards the rear for much of the mile-and-a-half contest, Japan made his move before the home turn – albeit a little wider than ideal.

Epsom disappointment Bangkok bounced back to form and got a dream run up the rail, but Japan had far too many guns in the closing stages and was good value for the winning margin of four and a half lengths.

Bangkok boxed on to fill the runner-up spot, ahead of Eagles By Day in third.

O’Brien, recording his 70th winner at the Royal meeting, said: “We were delighted with that. He had a lovely run in the Dante – he was just ready to go there and came forward for the Derby, where Wayne (Lordan) was delighted with him.

“Everything has been right with him and he’s been progressing all the time.”

He added: “He won’t go for the Irish Derby. It’s next week. The two main horses will be Broome and Anthony Van Dyck.

“This horse could come here for the King George or go to France (for the Grand Prix de Paris). There are a lot of options for him.”

Moore said: “He’s a very good horse. We think a lot of him and hopefully he will continue in this way now.”

Andrew Balding said of Bangkok: “He had no excuses, we were beaten by a very good horse. It was just a relief to see him perform better. We have got lots of options for him.

“He always looked like a very talented horse. There was no explanation for the Derby run, perhaps it was just the track. He was beaten by a very good horse, but he finished a lot closer to that one than he did at Epsom.

“We will look at all options and he could be a horse to look at the American turf races with. You never know if they will handle the travelling until you try it and see.”

Michael Bell said of Eagles By Day: “I was delighted with that. He stayed on well to the line. He is an immature horse, but he obviously stays well and they are such fun horses to own and train.

“The Bahrain Trophy is possibly under consideration, but that is a three-week turnaround. On the back of that it looks an obvious race.

“Danny (Tudhope) said he just felt different to Lingfield and maybe at Lingfield he was not 100 per cent.”

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