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Solemia - Longchamp - 7/10/2012

Orfevre (far side) was just denied in the Arc by Solemia

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

Orfevre misses Arima Kinen and done for year

Japan: After a long and slightly frustrating season trainer Yasutoshi Ikee has decided to skip the Arima Kinen with Japanese superstar Orfevre in favour of preparing his charge to go one better in next year's Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

The Arima Kinen is the end-of-season championship race in Japan and the single biggest betting race in the world, but it will be without Japanese racing's star attraction after Ikee conceded a long season had caught up with Orfevre.

It has been a slightly frustrating year for the five-time Group 1 winner. Despite winning a Group 1 in Japan and a Group 2 in France it was a year more of note for near misses, with the four-year-old finishing second, beaten less than a neck, in both the Arc and Japan Cup.

Trained to peak for the Arc, Ikee maintained the horse's condition for the Japan Cup, but after a severe duel with Gentildonna Ikee feels the horse lacks his usual sparkle now returned to work.

Ikee said: "He's just not quite himself, he lacks that buzz, he's a bit flat. He's had a long season and it's caught up with him. I trained him for the Arc and while he would run well and could even win the Arima Kinen, I feel running him would leave its mark for next year.

"He's staying in training so next year is important and I don't want to jeopardise that now so we'll give him a break."

Ikee added that Orfevre's main target next season will be the Arc, with connections determined to win Europe's richest race.

 
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