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Orfevre - Kikuka Sho (G1)

Orfevre: last year's Arc runner-up has recovered from recent setback

  PICTURE: Masakazu Takahashi  

Orfevre okay for Arc but no-go for Gentildonna

Japan: Last year's Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe runner-up Orfevre will has finally been given the green light to return to Longchamp in a bid to go one better later this year.

On the other hand, in a surprise development his compatriot Gentildonna will not take her chance in the Arc as connections prefer to follow a domestic programme featuring a defence of her Japan Cup crown.

Orfevre, who is vying for Arc favouritism at a best-priced 7-1 with Al Kazeem and Intello, has reportedly fully recovered from the bleeding episode that kept him out of last month's Grade 1 Takarazuka Kinen.

The five-year-old is set to be partnered by Christophe Soumillon in a two-race French campaign kicking off with the Prix Foy, which he won in 2012.

Accompanied by a travelling companion, Orfevre will be shipped to Paris at the end of August and will again be stabled at the Chantilly yard of Paris-based trainer Satoshi Kobayashi.

"We've decided to go for the Arc again with the same schedule as last year," confirmed Orfevre's trainer Yasutoshi Ikee, who also named Japan's end-of-season grand prix, the Arima Kinen, as a likely target.

With both Dubai Sheema Classic runner-up Gentildonna and new star Gold Ship ruled out, the Japanese challenge for a much coveted first Arc win is now down to two horses, with Orfevre set to be joined by Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) victor Kizuna, who is a 16-1 shot.

Gentildonna's connections were disappointed by her third-placed effort behind Gold Ship in the Takarazuka Kinen.

Trainer Sei Ishizaka said: "After a discussion with the owners, we have decided we will not send Gentildonna to France. The reason is the flop in the Takarazuka."

Last year's filly triple crown winner will now be aimed at the Tenno Sho (Autumn) and the Japan Cup, which she won last year by a nose over Orfevre.


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