JRA Buys English Champion David Junior

The Japan Racing Association has bought English champion and group I winner David Junior to stand at the Japan Bloodhorse Breeders' Association's Shizunai Stallion Station. Plans calls for the 4-year-old son of Pleasant Tap to run in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs, then maybe the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) Nov. 26.

David Junior, who will continue to race for David Sullivan's Roldvale Limited, was England's champion 3-year-old at 9 1/2 to 11 furlongs of 2005. He won that year's Emirates Airline Champion Stakes (Eng-I) and three other English stakes. This year, he has captured the Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Eng-I) and Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I).

"Both David Junior's pedigree and race record were attractive to the JRA," European bloodstock agent John Tyrrell, who brokered the deal, told the Racing Post."What interests them is that he's an outcross to Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector, he was a 2-year-old winner and his optimum trip was 10 furlongs. They, like the rest of the world, feel that is the optimum winning distance for stud purposes."

The Classic will be contested at 10 furlongs and will be David Junior's first race on dirt. Arcangues, in 1993, is the only European runner to win the Classic, but three others--Ibn Bey, Giant's Causeway , and Sakhee--ran strong seconds. Ibn Bey finished a length behind Unbridled in 1990. Giant's Causeway ended up a length a neck behind Tiznow in 2000, and Sakhee was beaten a nose by Tiznow the following year.

David Junior, who was bred in Florida by Arthur I. Appleton, has won seven of 12 races and earned $4,116,358. His dam, Paradise River (by Irish River), is a full or half-sister to grade I winners Paradise Creek (a champion), Forbidden Apple, and Wild Event, and a half-sister to stakes winner I'm Very Irish. Forbidden Apple and I'm Very Irish are by Pleasant Tap's sire, Pleasant Colony.