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Japan just does enough to bag the Meld Stakes at Leopardstown

Japan (right): holds on narrowly in the Meld Stakes
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Class came to the fore – but only just – in the Meld Stakes at Leopardstown on Thursday as dual Group 1 winner Japan held on to win a thriller for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore.

Always close to the pace, Japan got to the front approaching the last furlong and, while Maker Of Kings and Sinawann were bearing down on him at the line, Moore always seemed to have enough in reserve to repel the challenge by a short-head. 

Japan was recording his second Group 3 success of the season and provided O'Brien with his fourth triumph in the Meld Stakes. The 15-8 favourite holds entries in five Group 1 races and was left at 20-1 for York's Juddmonte International by Paddy Power.

Moore said: “That was a nice performance. I got to the front a little sooner than ideal and he was waiting a little bit when he got there.

"But when the other horses got to him he found plenty. He showed plenty of speed the whole way round and did it well in the end.”

Meld Stakes result and replay

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He showed plenty of speed the whole way round and did it well in the end
E.W. Terms