"He'll have to carry a seven-pound penalty for winning a group I race," O'Brien said. "It's not easy for a 3-year-old running against 4- 5- and 6-year-olds, especially when you have to carry the group I penalty. With this being his first start of the year, we realize it's a tough race, but hopefully he'll run well and won't get abused."
With Johannesburg running at the Curragh, stablemate Castle Gandolfo, who also is being pointed for the Kentucky Derby, will contest Saturday's Fosters International Trial Stakes at one mile on the all-weather track at Lingfield."We've always thought Castle Gandolfo was a good horse," O'Brien said. "He was a very good 2-year-old, and both times he was beaten in group I races at a mile and a mile and a quarter, it was against stable companions. And each time, it was on very heavy ground, which doesn't suit him. He's bred for the dirt, and we just want to see how he handles it on Saturday." After winning the group III Beresford Stakes at the Curragh, the son of Gone West was beaten three-quarters of a length in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster and one length in the 10-furlong Criterium de Saint-Cloud.