Horse Racing - Japanese favourites lay down gauntlet ahead of Prix de l’Arc

The favourites for the 2013 Prix de l’Arc made an impression at Longchamp during Sunday’s preliminaries.

Horse Racing - Japanese favourites lay down gauntlet ahead of Prix de l’Arc

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2013 - Longchamp - Orfevre

Two Japanese and one French horse claimed victories as the main candidates for victory on October 6 laid down their markers at Longchamp.

Orfevre in the Prix Foy and Kizuna in the Prix Niel both lived up to high expectations in their respective Group 2 races.

Last year's Prix de l’Arc runner-up Orfevre, the elder of the two Japanese horses, beat Very Nice Name by three lengths, despite only operating at 70 per cent capacity, according to trainer Yasutoshi Ikee.

Belgian jockey Christophe Soumillon steered Orfevre to his second consecutive Prix Foy win and said the horse is “a war machine one he gets going”. He is also now the bookies’ favourite for the first Sunday of October.

In his first start outside Japan, Kizuna beat Europe's best including Ruler of the World, top of the UK earnings table.

By finishing a nose in front of his three-year-old counterpart, Kizuna also demonstrated his form three weeks before the Prix de l’Arc.

And in winning his fourth consecutive ranked race, the Shozo Sasaki-trained horse demonstrated his consistency at the highest level.

Trêve won the Prix Vermeille to break up the Japanese domination, confirming her status as the current best three-year-old French horse, even though the Criquette Head-trained horse had to keep an eye on Wild Coco right until the end.

Her race winnings of over €600,000 and her record of four wins in four starts weigh heavily in her favour ahead of the big race in early October.

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