08/26/2002 12:00AM

Van Nistlerooy wins third straight


Van Nistlerooy extended his unbeaten streak to three in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes at the Curragh. The win came as a welcome relief to Aidan O'Brien, as his virus-plagued Ballydoyle yard is not expected to be back at full strength for another two weeks.

The world's most expensive yearling purchase last year at $6.4 million, Van Nistlerooy prevailed by a neck over Chappel Crescent as the even-money favorite in a field of eight. His time for the seven furlongs on good to yielding ground was 1:24.30.

* Trainer Michael Stoute has announced that the ultimate objective of his King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes winner Golan will be a second attempt at the Japan Cup, which will be run this year at 1 3/8 miles on Nov. 24 at Nakayama Racecourse. Plans for Golan's races between now and then are not final.