Few races in the world generate the same fervour as the Japan Cup, and while the climax yesterday was no less than was deserved by a crowd of 100,000, or a first prize exceeding £1m, it was all too much for Papal Bull.
True, he showed yet again that he has the talent to win a really big race one day, somehow managing seventh place under Ryan Moore after rounding the first turn last of the 18 runners. But he had already reiterated the temperament issues that have prevented him doing so, getting stirred up before missing the break.
Sir Michael Stoute, returning to the scene of his wins with Singspiel (1996) and Pilsudski (1997), said: "He got very upset before the start. He kept looking around at the noise. His break cost him any chance, but he ran on very well."
The other British raider, Halicarnassus, proved out of his depth, beating only one home as Admire Moon won a photo with Pop Rock and the favourite, Meisho Samson. Admire Moon, winner of another huge prize in Dubai in March, had already been recruited to stand at Sheikh Mohammed's Japanese stud.Reuse content