Japan slashed for Arc after beating Crystal Ocean in Juddmonte thriller
Japan stayed on best to edge past short-priced favourite Crystal Ocean by a head in an epic duel to land the Juddmonte International.
The 5-1 shot provided Aidan O'Brien with his sixth victory in the race by the narrowest of margins, battling back bravely under Ryan Moore after Crystal Ocean had taken the lead, with Elarqam putting in a big performance to finish third by a length.
"He's made progress from day one," O'Brien told Racing TV. "He's the type who will never win by far but is a lovely relaxed horse who does what he needs to do. That's the best form of any three-year-old this season."
Jockey Ryan Moore gave a similarly glowing review, and added: "He's got a great temperament. He's kept improving since he ran in the Dante here and ran all the way to the line.
"It was a very hard battle and fortunately this lad got here really late. He's hasn't put a foot wrong and keeps getting better."
Japan was cut to 2-1 from 7-1 for the Irish Champion Stakes, 5-1 from 10-1 for the Arc and 7-2 from 6-1 for the Breeders' Cup Turf.
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