Orfevre did look to have victory at his mercy in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last year, until seemingly idling in the final furlong and being caught in sight of the winning post by Solemia.
He is widely expected to make amends for that defeat this year, especially if gaining a more lucrative draw towards the inside rail at Longchamp, and has already been backed into 2/1 to win the Arc.
However, there are four big statistics that Orfevre will have to overcome if he is to land arguably Europe’s most prestigious horse race.
The first relates to Arc winners that had previously taken part in the contest prior to their victory. Tony Bin was the last to rectify a previous Arc defeat, when getting up by a neck in 1988 to deny Mtoto.
In the same vein as Orfevre, he had finished second in the Arc in the previous year and also like Orfevre is attempting, Tony Bin’s victory came as a five-year-old.
This is another trend for Orfevre to overcome, as since Tony Bin, Marienbard is the only other five-year-old winner in 2002.
Thirdly, many would feel that Orfevre’s victory earlier this season in the Prix Foy at Longchamp would be something to take note of, as this is regarded as one of the leading Arc trials.
Yet, the Arc winner has not counted the Prix Foy among their earlier-season races since Subotica in 1992 and the last horse to complete the double in the same campaign was Sagace in 1984.
In fact, in the last decade, eight Prix Foy winners have attempted to double up in the Arc and only one has even filled the each-way places, which was Orfevre himself 12 months ago.
Finally, nine Japanese-trained runners have entered the Arc in the last 10 years and none have been successful.
A rare bit of good news for trainer Yasutoshi Ikee though, is that the Arc betting has tended to be fairly accurate, with favourites winning four of the last 10 runnings.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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