Japan to stand at Gestut Etzean after Tokyo swansong

The Group 1 winner joins a select group of stallions that have stood at the stud

Japan: will join Broome in the Japan Cup
Group 1 winner Japan retires to stud in GermanyCredit: Edward Whitaker

Group 1 winner Japan will retire from racing after he runs in the Japan Cup early on Sunday morning and begin his stud career at Gestut Etzean.

The five-year-old son of Galileo, who won the Juddmonte International and Grand Prix de Paris at three, has been purchased by Etzean and partners, although Coolmore retain part-ownership

"We wanted to find a high-calibre stallion to give German breeders access to the best bloodlines but in order to do this we needed partners so we have joined with Gestut Farhof and Mr and Mrs Matusche, who are clients of ours and keep mares with us. They were very keen to support us and Coolmore remain part-owners," explained Ralf Kredel, Etzean's stud director.

The recent death of the farm's leading sire Lord Of England, whose Deutsches Derby-winning son Isfahan has sired this season's Group 1 Deutsches Derby winner Sisfahan in his first crop, provided the impetus behind the search for a new stallion and Etzean's experiences with Lord Of England's sire Dashing Blade encouraged them to cast a wide net when searching for their new recruit.

View Japan Cup racecard here

"We lost our top sire Lord Of England last month and we were looking for a horse with an international profile to stand," Kredel said. "We imported Dashing Blade, who was a Group 1-winning two-year-old in England and Ireland, and he became a very successful stallion, and we are excited that Japan can be similarly successful."

Bred by Newsells Park Stud out of their extraordinary producer Shastye, Japan made 1,300,000gns at the Tattersalls October Book 1 Sale to MV Magnier and went on to win the Group 2 Beresford Stakes at two for Aidan O'Brien. That juvenile success was an important component of what Kredel and Etzean wanted in their new stallion.

"We think that his best distance was 2000m and although he can stay, he is not a total stayer. It's very important for us to have a stallion who is a Group winner at two, to bring a little bit of early class."

The Sadler's Wells line has flourished through descendants of his son, the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Turf winner In The Wings, whose son Adlerflug sired this season's Arc winner Torquator Tasso and In Swoop, who beat him in the 2020 Deutsches Derby.

Etzean has previously successfully stood stallions from this line and Kredel believes that Japan has the right credentials to be successful in Germany.

"The Sadler's Wells line has generally done very well in Germany. We previously stood both Sholokhov and Jukebox Jury, who both produced Group 1 winners on the Flat," he added.

"We believe that Japan will be a good match for German mares as his pedigree includes two of the best German families - Allegretta and Schonbrun - so many breeders will be able to almost duplicate those families by using him.

"Japan has a great page and the Galileo-Danehill cross is responsible for successful stallions such as Frankel, Teofilo and now Galiway, who has started well in France."

That pedigree includes Japan's full brother Mogul, who won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris and Hong Kong Vase, and their full sister Secret Gesture, winner of the Group 2 Middleton Stakes and second in both the Oaks and Preis der Diana.

Dam Shastye was second in the Listed Pontefract Castle Stakes and is a half-sister to the Arc winner Sagamix and the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner Sagacity. She is also a half-sister to the dam of Sageburg, winner of the Group 1 Prix d'Ispahan, and it is the family of Perfect Power, victorious in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes and Prix Morny this year.

"There is a lack of decent stallions in Germany now after the deaths of Lord Of England and Adlerflug and both Soldier Hollow and Areion are old. We are looking for a new star and hopefully Japan will be the one," Kredel concluded.

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Published on 27 November 2021Last updated 18:03, 27 November 2021