Japan Favored in Wednesday’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot for Automatic Berth into Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf
ASCOT, BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND (June 15, 2020) -– Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Masaaki Matsushima’s multiple Group 1-stakes winning 4-year-old Japan (GB) headlines Wednesday’s (June 17) US$317,000 Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot, with the winner earning an automatic berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) through the international Breeders’ Cup Challenge.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of stakes races, whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is scheduled to be held at Keeneland Race Course, in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov 6-7.
As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winner of the Prince of Wales’s to start in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, which will be run at 1 ½ miles over the Keeneland turf course. Breeders’ Cup also will provide a minimum travel allowance of US$40,000 for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must already be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program or it must be nominated by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of October 26 to receive the rewards.
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes, for 3-year-olds and up at 1 ¼ miles, is the second of four Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races to be conducted during the Royal Ascot meeting. The Prince of Wales’s will be televised by NBCSN and TVG on Wednesday at approximately 10 a.m. ET in the U.S.
Japan, a bay son of Galileo (IRE), trained by Aidan O’Brien, will be making his first start of the year after becoming one of Europe’s top 3-year-olds of 2019. Following a third-place finish in the Investec Derby (G1) at Epsom, Japan began a three-race win streak with a dominant 4 ½-length victory in the 1 ½-mile King Edward VII Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot. It was on to France next for the 1½-mile Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (G1), the traditional Bastille Day (July 14) feature at ParisLongchamp. Japan took the lead inside 1 ½ furlongs and fought off Slalom (FR) to win by a half-length.
Back in Britain in September, Japan faced older horses for the first time in the Juddmonte International (G1) at York, where he engaged Crystal Ocean (GB) in a dramatic stretch drive and wore down his rival in the final 50 yards to prevail by a head under Ryan Moore. Japan returned to ParisLongchamp for the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Troimphe (G1) in October. He was in contention closing inside the furlong marker but was passed by Waldgeist (GB) on the outside, and wound up fourth. Moore has the mount again on Wednesday.
Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum’s 6-year-old Addeybb (IRE), another returning Royal Ascot winner, scored Group 1 triumphs in Australia this year while racing was suspended in Britain due to the coronavirus outbreak. Addeybb, a gelded bay son of Pivotal (GB) out of the Kingmambo mare Bush Cat, and trained by William Haggas, captured the 1 ¼-mile Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill on March 21 and 1 ¼-mile Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick in Sydney on April 11.
Sporting a solid record of nine wins in 17 starts, Addeybb won the listed 1 ¼-mile Wolferton Stakes by 2 ½ lengths over Magic Wand (IRE) last June at the Royal Meeting. He started next as the 11-8 favorite in the 1 3/8-mile Sky Bet Stakes (G2) at York on July 27, finishing second to Elarqam (GB), but rebounded on Aug. 10 at Haydock, winning the 1 3/8-mile Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (GB) by 2 ¼ lengths. He closed out the year chasing Magical (IRE) down the stretch in the 1 ¼-mile QIPCO Champion Stakes (G1) at Ascot, but finished second by three-quarters of a lengths. Tom Marquand has the mount on Addeybb.
Godolphin’s 6-year-old gelding Barney Roy (GB), trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick, is out for a bit of redemption this year after finishing eighth as the 5-1 favorite in the 2019 Queen Anne, which was his last race of the season. Like Addeybb, Barney Roy has been winning races outside of Britain this year. A bay son of Excelebration (IRE), Barney Roy was in Meydan this winter, taking the Al Rashidiya Stakes (G2) on Jan. 30 and Jebel Hatta Stakes (G1) on March 7, both at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
As a 3-year-old, Barney Roy won the 2017 St. James’s Palace (G1) at Royal Ascot, and was retired after that season. However, he proved to be subfertile at stud and was returned to racing in 2019 as a gelding.
Prince Khalid Abdullah’s 4-year-old Headman (GB), making his Ascot debut, won three consecutive races last year trainer Roger Charlton. A bay son Kingman (GB), Headman took the ungraded London Gold Cup Handicap last May at Newberry, setting up a bigger score in June at Saint-Cloud in France, where he captured the 1 ¼-mile Prix Eugene Adam (G2) by three lengths. He was in the winner’s circle again in France in August, finishing a head in front of Roman Candle (GB) as the 3-5 favorite in the 1 ¼-mile Prix Guillaume d'Ornano Haras du Logis Saint-Germain (G2) at Deauville. Headman stepped into Group 1 company for the first time on Sept. 14 in the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown. After rearing at the start and trailing the field, he made a bid in mid-stretch but could not sustain the drive and finished fifth. Jason Watson will ride Headman.
Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed Racing’s 4-year-old gelding Lord North (IRE), trained by John Gosden and ridden by James Doyle, comes into the race off a win in the 1 ¼-mile Betway Brigadier Gerard Stakes (G3) at Haydock on June 7. A bay son of Dubawi (IRE), Lord North had two second-place finishes at Ascot last year in Class 2, 1-mile races. Following a runner-up placing in the Balmoral Handicap on Oct. 19, Lord North closed out the season with a victory in the listed 1 ¼-mile James Seymour Stakes at Newmarket on Nov. 2.
Frankie Dettori has the mount on the Gosden-trained 4-year-old filly Mehdaayih (GB). Owned by Emirates Park Pty Ltd., Mehdaayih has won four races in 10 starts, including the Group 2 Prix de Malleret last June at Saint-Cloud. She was second to Deirdre (JPN) in the Qatar Nassau Stakes (G1) at Goodwood in August. Continuing in Group 1 company, she finished 10th in the Prix de l’Opera Longines at ParisLongchamp in October and in fifth in the Champion Stakes later that month at Ascot.
King Power Racing has entered the 4-year-old Bangkok (IRE), who finished second to Japan in the last year’s King Edward VII. Trained by Andrew Balding and ridden by Silvestre De Sousa, the bay son of Australia (GB) raced twice in Derby trial stakes on the all-weather surface at Lingfield in February, winning the listed event on Feb. 1 and coming in third in the Group 3 Derby Trial on Feb. 22.
The Prince of Wales’s Stakes joins Tuesday’s Queen Anne (G1) (TVG Mile), Friday’s Norfolk Stakes (G2) (Juvenile Turf Sprint) and Saturday’s Diamond Jubilee (G1) (Turf Sprint) as the four Breeders’ Cup Challenge races to be run at the 2020 Royal Meeting.
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The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, is scheduled to be held on November 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky and features a total of $35 million in purses and awards. The event will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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