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Orfevre (JRA photo right), one of our favourite horses of 2011, ended the year with a fine win on Christmas Day in Japan's Arima Kinen (Group One over 2,500 metres).

Orfevre, the beautiful chestnut son of Stay Gold out of Oriental Art, started favourite at 2.2 from recent Japan Cup winner Buena Vista who was 3.2. The quality field of thirteen also included Victoire Pisa, (the 2011 Dubai World Cup winner) and Arc runner Hiruno D'Amour, as well as Tosen Jordan and Jaguar Mail.

Orfevre beat Eishin Flash by three quarters of a length with To The Glory a neck away in third. Buena Vista was seventh and Victoire Pisa in eighth. Buena Vista, who won six Group One races, has now been retired.

Earlier in the year Orfevre became the seventh winner of the Japanese Triple Crown when he won the 72nd Kikuka Sho (Japanese St leger G1) over 3,000 metres at Kyoto Racecourse. He followed previous Japanese Triple Crown winners St Lite (1941), Shinzan (1964), Mr. C.B. (1983), Symboli Rudolf (1984), Narita Brian (1994) and Deep Impact in 2006.

Orfevre had previously won the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas) and the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby)(Group One).

(Photograph copyright of Orfevre winning the Satsuki Sho : JRA)

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