Horse Antepost

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03 Mar 12 18:47
Date Joined: 17 Mar 05
| Topic/replies: 6,315 | Blogger: bazzar's blog
In next 3 months or so?
Pause Switch to Standard View Has ORFEVRE got an early engagement?
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Report EastLower Gooner March 3, 2012 11:05 PM GMT
not sure....but usually a pre summer race they can slip him into before they ship him over to Paris.

fancy him big time for the Arc btw so will be looking to antepost early on him.
Report The Headmaster March 4, 2012 9:09 AM GMT
If I were you I'd definitely wait till the day of race market, bazz Laugh
Report PeteTheBloke March 4, 2012 10:31 AM GMT
...or non-runner-no-bet of course
Report bazzar March 4, 2012 1:18 PM GMT
If the horse is entered then it will be up to me whether I back him or not, but you and pete overlook that fact.
The headbanger is supposed to be intelligent, if anyone believes his nom-de-plume.
Report PeteTheBloke March 4, 2012 4:22 PM GMT
C'mon Bazz, we're teasing you. Harmless fun.
Report bazzar March 5, 2012 1:00 AM GMT
Pete the nancy is an idiot, a perfect friend for the headbanger,
only joking, how do YOU two like it?
Now block this lot, if you can!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Report MrDinos March 17, 2012 7:20 PM GMT
Info from Racing Post.

JAPANESE Triple Crown winner Orfevre (Yasutoshi Ikee/Kenichi Ikezoe) is set for his seasonal debut on Sunday at the start of a four-year-old campaign where all roads lead to the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

After Orfevre beat older horses in the Arima Kinen, Japan's end-of-season grand prix in December, a trip to Dubai was abandoned to ensure the perfect preparation for Longchamp.

Although he came back into his trainer's yard only on February 24, the son of Stay Gold has been clocking fast times at the Ritto Training Centre ready for Sunday's race, after which he will run in the Grade 1 Tenno Sho (Spring) on April 29.

1 Gustave Cry(JPN)   
2 Hiruno d'Amour(JPN)   
3 Tokai Trick(JPN)   
4 Jaguar Mail(JPN)   
5 Cosmo Helenos(JPN)   
6 Namura Crescent(JPN)
7 Piena Fantast(JPN)   
8 Copano Jingu(JPN)   
9 Rikka Royal(JPN)   
10 Beat Black(JPN)   
11 Oken Bruce Lee(JPN)   
12 Orfevre(JPN)

This fella oozes class and has the potential to be Japan's first Arc winner IMO. His ability to handle all types of ground marks him out as a real contender, if all goes to plan en route to Paris!
Report MrDinos March 17, 2012 7:31 PM GMT
I forgot to say the race is at Hanshin Racecourse tomorrow which is a right handed track.

Hanshin Daishoten (G2) R11
Report MrDinos March 18, 2012 9:19 AM GMT
A big upset in Japan as Orfevre could only manage second! The link for the race is below, I don't think I've seen anything like it before. Orfevre was in the lead entering the last turn and hung badly left on the right handed track. He went from first to last position but Kenichi Ikezoe managed to pull him back and surged past nearly every horse coming into the straight but ran out of steam in the last 100 yards.
Report bazzar March 18, 2012 10:51 AM GMT
Thanks Mr Dinos, this is the first step on a long journey to the ARC and other great races along the way, don't EVER lose faith
and watch carefully, his progress throughout the season.
Report MrDinos March 18, 2012 12:26 PM GMT
No problem bazzar. The more I see this horse the more I like him, his run today was remarkable considering the circumstances and he nearly pulled it off when looking impossible. It will be interesting to hear what connections have to say about what happened! He has never done this before and has won on right and left handed tracks.
Report EastLower Gooner March 18, 2012 5:35 PM GMT
Pleasing debut....should knock his price out a few pts.
Report The Headmaster March 19, 2012 10:44 AM GMT
Massive fan of this horse but he looked unrideable in parts there.  Next race is a biggee for him imo (and the jockey).
Report MrDinos March 19, 2012 5:07 PM GMT
Comments from jockey Kenichi Ikezoe.

“He couldn’t go round the turn and ran out to the outside lane,” said Ikezoe. “But when the other horses came up his inner, he wanted to run with them. I can’t believe he has managed to finish second – He is a real monster.”

Having watched this race a few times now he never seemed to settle and pulled hard making it hard work for Ikezoe. It might just be down to Orfevre being really fresh but he will have to settle a lot better next time in the Tenno Sho (Spring). I have to agree with Ikezoe, he does look a real monster.
Report MrDinos April 24, 2012 10:07 PM BST
The monster is back this Sunday, Orfevre will be running in the Tenno Sho (Spring) at Kyoto Racecourse. The long road to Longchamp and Arc glory begins for Japans latest superstar.

Information taken from

ORFEVRE: Last month's Hanshin Daishoten was supposed to be nothing more than a routine prep race for the JRA's new Triple Crown champion Orfevre, but it turned out to be one of the wildest races in years. On the backstretch of the second lap in the 15-furlong race, Orfevre lost it, shooting into the lead against jockey Kenichi Ikezoe's wishes and continued to head toward the outside rail. Once the 4-year-old snapped back into it, realizing he had fallen out of line, the Stay Gold son made a ferocious run back into the race, catching up with the pack around the final bend. Orfevre somehow finished second, half a length behind Gustave Cry, but the JRA had him tested for conduct following his bad behavior. Fortunately for trainer Yasutoshi Ikee, the JRA's reigning horse of the year passed, making him eligible for the spring Tenno Sho. "I was more nervous than I was training a favorite for a G1 race," Ikee said. "He was running fine on his own in training so I wasn't too worried, but it was still nice to see him pass the test on his first try. Ikezoe's been working hand in hand with him, and I owe him a lot. Maybe Orfevre has matured a little -- I hope." The Hanshin Daishoten ended Orfevre's winning streak at six; it was his first start since the colt won the Arima Kinen on Christmas Day for his fourth G1 title. Ikee said a lot of factors came into play in Orfevre's discombobulated run in the Hanshin Daishoten, but made no excuses for it. "Once he got out in front, he just quit on the race," Ikee said. "He'd drawn an outside barrier, and he was the last to be led into his gate. So he jumped right out and just kept going. But he needs to be able to settle, regardless of the situation." There are positives for Orfevre, however. The horse wasn't harmed in the Hanshin Daishoten and not only that, he's in improved shape for the Emperor's Cup. If Orfevre, who should be the overwhelming favorite at the morning line, can remain under Ikezoe's control, then it will be a fight for second among the rest of the field. After all, the ultimate goal for Orfevre is to become the first Japanese horse to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. "He wasn't tired from his last start, which was kind of shocking after the race he had," Ikee said. "He's definitely on the way up from where he was then, which was already pretty good. I expect to have him in perfect condition this time. We let a lot of people down last time, and everyone at my stable feels terrible about it. We want to make up for it this time around, and we hope people will come out to the track to watch him run." Ikezoe, who has yet to win the spring Tenno Sho, is determined to put the nightmare from the Hanshin Daishoten behind him. "I feel bad about what happened in his last race," he said. "But on the bright side, I was able to communicate with him in a way that I hadn't been able to before. His time was fast (last week), and I didn't even push him. I'd say he's improving. I think the fans want to see Orfevre at his best, and I'm hoping we can deliver. We can't let what happened in the Hanshin Daishoten happen again."
Report bazzar April 26, 2012 8:21 AM BST
Thanks again, Mr Dinos.
Report The Headmaster April 29, 2012 10:31 PM BST
The next race was a biggee as it turned out - and unfortunately the next one's even bigger.

It just goes to show, on the Flat at least, that when you have a horse you gotta strike while the iron's hot.  2012 Arc dream in tatters it seems......
Report MrDinos June 24, 2012 2:10 PM BST
It looks like the Arc is back on for Orfevre!

He bounced back with a comfortable win today taking the Takarazuka Kinen (G1) by 2 lengths from Rulership. Orfevre cruised through the race quickening clear down the straight in good style.

Rulership ran on well to take second showing his Audemars Piguet QEII Cup win was no fluke. I do think he is better with give in the ground so his performance today was very encouraging (Firm Track).

The first two are very good IMO and it would be brilliant if both make the trip.

Link for the video is below.
Report BJG June 24, 2012 2:18 PM BST
AFTER a stuttering start to his four-year-old campaign, last year's Triple Crown winner Orfevre (Yasutoshi Ikee/Kenichi Ikezoe) returned to winning ways in the Takarazuka Kinen, the climax of the Japanese spring campaign.

In beating a field full of Grade 1 winners, the son of Stay Gold put thoughts of a crack at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe back on the table.
Sent off 11-5 favourite, Orfevre took the 256 million yen (£2.04m) event by two lengths over Audemars Piguet QEII Cup winner Rulership with Shonan Mighty in third place.

Orfevre raced two-thirds back hugging the rail in the 16-runner field before making smooth headway as they approached the final turn.

As they fanned out wide across the straight in typical Japanese fashion, Orfevre was produced to challenge just outside the leader Mount Shasta and went on to claim the race with a powerful finishing kick.

Kenichi Ikezoe: redemption

PICTURE: Masakazu Takahashi

After an all-conquering 2011 campaign, Orfevre had been beaten in Grade 2 company in bizarre circumstances on his seasonal debut as he nearly ran out over 1m7f before going down by just half a length to Gustave Cry.

Next time out, though, he was well beaten at odds-on in the Tenno Sho (Spring), which was won by Beat Black, only ninth in Sunday's contest.

For winning jockey Kenichi Ikezoe, much criticised earlier this season, the victory offered a degree of redemption - and prompted tears on the winner's podium.

"He was more relaxed than last time and his reaction at the home turn was very good," added the jockey. "As long as he is okay, he will go abroad. I expect it to happen!"
Report MrDinos June 24, 2012 2:26 PM BST
Cheers for that BJG, sounds like the Monster is making the trip to France. This years Arc looks like it could be a belter!
Report BJG June 24, 2012 2:27 PM BST
Indeed, was very keen on this fella myself but dunno wat happened him last time! This was more like the old form again tho - whoosh Cool
Report MrDinos June 24, 2012 2:29 PM BST
The 16-1 being offered by some bookies looks very tempting. 25-1 best price for Rulership.
Report MrDinos June 24, 2012 2:34 PM BST
The last race he ran in was a complete mess and one to put in the bin. Today was his true running and he looked more settled.
Report bazzar June 24, 2012 2:44 PM BST
Thanks yet again MR DINOS, wish I had known he was running today, would have backed him,
decent time he set as well, the link you gave did not work for me, but I will wait until monday evening and watch the video with English commentary.
Report MrDinos June 24, 2012 3:01 PM BST
No problems bazzar. There is a better quality video on You Tube but it's still in Japanese.

He looks back to his best, I've had a dabble at the 16-1.

If Rulership was definitely coming over I would back him as well at 25-1. The possible easier ground will suit him and I think the trip would as well. He looks like he is improving with age.
Report EastLower Gooner June 24, 2012 7:07 PM BST
When you think about it....Was probably for the best that he lost the other the trainer / jockey more of insight into the horse and what he's capable of....very important before embarking on a trip to the ARC.
Report HKAccie June 25, 2012 4:46 AM BST
Try this link from HKJC website, very impressive yesterday.
Report bazzar June 25, 2012 5:56 PM BST
Thanks to all who gave me viewing sites, have viewed the race and thought that the going looked loose on top, yet he did a good time, should be able to cope with soft at
Now I have a real dilemma as I won well off DANEDREAM, (not a big bettor) but
some success and lots of fun, both horses are in same ownership, or at least the owner of SHADAI STUD has bought a share in DANEDREAM, but most of these breeders would rather
have a stallion than mare winning the big ones, purely economics, or is it greed.
Report MrDinos July 15, 2012 7:18 PM BST
Soumillon booked to ride Orfevre for his European campaign. Positive move IMO from the Japanese, he's got a good record in the race and normally rides Longchamp well!

The 16-1 still looks too big and I'm going to have another nibble after the latest news. The PMU will need to batten down the hatches if he lines up on the day.

Racing Post News

CONNECTIONS of Japanese Horse of the Year Orfevre have moved swiftly to engage the services of dual Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe-winning rider Christophe Soumillon for the four-year-old's European campaign.

Japanese jockey Kenichi Ikezoe has ridden Orfevre in all of his big-race wins, including six successes at the highest level, but owner Shunsuke Yoshida has revealed that he has booked Soumillon to ride him in Europe. 

Orfevre will head to France to challenge for Europe's most valuable race on October 7. He is first expected to line up in one of the Arc trials at Longchamp in September.

Speaking at a party in celebration of Orfevre's win in the Group 1 Takarazuka Kinen, trainer Yatsutoshi Ikee said that an agreement had been made for Soumillon to take the ride.

"We had been worried about various objections from various people but changing jockey is the result of much discussion," Ikee said. "I am sure it will be the best for Orfevre. I want to go to the Arc to be a winner."
Report mr_sykes July 16, 2012 2:49 AM BST
I rememeber a japanese horse running the yr rail link won arc the japs backed their horse into odds on on peri mutuel rail link returned 25/1 i had a dream last night that last train won the arc who's to say history wont repeat itself you never know
Report EastLower Gooner July 16, 2012 9:19 PM BST
sigh...not sure if its good or bad they booked soumy. guy's been driving me insane least its not yutake take. God I really hate him. would just gone into a mental LAY mode if they said they booked him for the ride.
Report bazzar July 16, 2012 9:21 PM BST
I had a dream last night, that I had a 15inch peenis, but
when I woke up I was disappointed to find that I am now only
15 inches tall, but I can play piano to concert level,
the genie was partially deaf.
Report EastLower Gooner July 16, 2012 9:24 PM BST
guys....check out the japanese derby winner in the King George :o wtf that slipped under el radar.
Report bazzar July 16, 2012 9:25 PM BST
I like how they have declared their intentions so far in advance
of the ARC, even down to a prep 3 weeks before, with Soumillon on board.
Report MrDinos July 16, 2012 9:34 PM BST
Soumillon has been pretty wretched at times over the last few years and has become very frustrating but I'd rather have him than a Japanese jockey. I love the Japanese but the jockeys they bring over are like powder puffs in a finish.

Fingers crossed he gets over to France safe and sound!!!
Report bazzar July 16, 2012 9:40 PM BST
The Japanese are relatively new at horse racing and have come on in leaps and bounds,
the first Japan cup was won by an AMERICAN horse which shows how far and fast they have come.
Report MrDinos July 16, 2012 9:54 PM BST
Hi Gooner, I've been watching Deep Brillante's races and I'm not sure about him, he looks a bit awkward when he comes under pressure. The Japanese 2000 Guineas performance he plodded on for 3rd and in the Derby he was all out with Iwata looking like he was trying to carry him over the line (funny ride).

He doesn't look the best Japanese horse to come over IMO but he will be getting weight and the ground will not be a problem. His mom won a G3 in France on soft over 9f and came 2nd in G3 over 11f soft. The 20-1 is tempting but there are some serious horses running in this years KG.
Report bazzar July 16, 2012 10:27 PM BST
MR DINOS, do you know how to get a private message through this site?
Don't want anyone and everyone knowing my thoughts.
Report Akak July 17, 2012 9:15 AM BST
I have been sweeping up any 20/1 or above since Oferve won the Takarazuka Kinen. Was always guaranteed to run in the Arc ( barring injury). Nakayama Festa 2010 Kinen winner, ran a blinder against Workforce in the Arc, and off course Deep Impact,was 3rd to Rail Link in 2006.The Japanese are convinced that Orfevre will give them their first Arc winner.LoveLoveLove
Report mr_sykes July 17, 2012 2:08 PM BST
3 yr olds continue to dominate the race,cant see that changing despite the older generation looking better this yr,booking Soumillon is a good start for Orfevre however
Report EastLower Gooner July 17, 2012 8:19 PM BST
thanks mr dinos...personally think SeaMoon is the one...always thought of him as HarbingerII even when he was losing St Legers and BC Turfs. Just had that feel of a harbinger type.


about Soumillon - I wonder if he might get actually racetime on the Orfevre before the big day.....I assume the Prix Foy is the first target....also would be nice if he had 1 more race in Japan and flew over for that....which these days is pretty easy and commanplace to do. Kinane use to do that all the time in Hong Kong ie Ireland / England on the Saturday then straight to the airport and 1st plane to hong kong for the sunday. Got a private jet in the end.
Report ribotman July 18, 2012 7:48 PM BST
ELG  is soumillon retained by any french stable now he's split with aga's horses?

anyway if he rides orfevre in prix foy he should as all top jocks do,be aquainted enough by time of arc.
i personally would not like the horse to run till french trial(which seems to be the plan)as you never know wether he threw in a stinker earlier this year because of being overtrained.

at least he will have a prep run,unlike deep impact,who in my opinion..lost the arc by.........not having prep,being ill a few weeks before race,and jockey choosing for the first time in the horses life to ride him up with the pace making him a sitting target for r link etc.
Report MrDinos July 18, 2012 8:40 PM BST
Ribotman, Soumillon is retained by the Wildenstein's (Beauty Parlour) but I don't think they will have a runner and that's why the Sunday Racing Consortium have snapped him up for Orfevre's planned runs at Longchamp.

Nearly all the Japanese runners that have gone for the Arc in the past decade have had a long break before their prep race, which has been Prix Foy or Prix Niel depending on age. The only one I can remember coming over early was El Condor Pasa and he came 2nd in the Prix D'ispahan (May) and then won the Grand Prix De Saint-Cloud (July) and Prix Foy (September). El Condor Pasa was unique as he took the typical French trained route for older horses and he nearly won the Arc for Japan!

Gooner I've back tracked on Deep Brillante and backed him EW for the King George. Racing Post Ratings have him second best rated on 137 behind Danedream (138) and with the weight difference I couldn't resist having a go at 20-1. The G3 he won at Tokyo over 9f on soft ground was impressive and it looked his best performance to me. As I posted before some of his other runs looked moderate but he has never been out the first three so he can't be that bad!

I agree with you about Sea Moon and he ticks all the boxes trends wise but his price isn't my cup of tea.

Good luck all.
Report ribotman July 18, 2012 8:51 PM BST
Thanks mr d ,i backed el  condor for the arc after his g p de st cloud win.

drawn 1 his jockey had little choice but to front run and gave him a great ride only to be mugged by montjeu.
Ditto with d impact and nak festa.
Think they are overdue a win and this fellow looks the real deal.
Report MrDinos July 18, 2012 9:05 PM BST
Totally agree ribotman, Orfevre looks top notch and I just hope the trip to France goes well.

I still feel sick about Nakayama Festa!!! I backed him a few times Ante Post for his first Arc run, shame Mr Ebina didn't have a bit more strength.

El Condor Pasa race was agonising to watch.
Report ribotman July 18, 2012 9:59 PM BST
I love watching japanese top races..the crowd really get into it and love their heros.The roar when the fav improves down back straight rivals cheltenham.

Besides the horse's ability iv'e also noted he can mix it in big fields coming between runners in his final run-very useful in the arc.
Report San Quentin July 18, 2012 10:07 PM BST
do any of you chaps know if Beat black make the trip to paris?If so could be trained for 1 last great run
Report MrDinos September 5, 2012 10:20 PM BST
Orfevre (red cap) working at Chantilly today. Looks in good form!

You Tube link below
Report bazzar September 6, 2012 9:11 AM BST
Viewed the ORFEVRE gallop today, very interesting but cannot speak French,
does anyone know what was said as regards instructions during gallop, please?
Thanks for the info.
Report Akak September 6, 2012 11:28 AM BST
Hi bazzar, The gallop was over 1200 metres Orfevre was very relaxed and showed a pleasing turn of foot at the end. Both trainer (Ikee) and jockey (soumillion)were pleased and everything is ok.Love
Report bazzar September 6, 2012 12:26 PM BST
Thanks AKAK, it sounded as if instructions were being given during the workout,
I just wondered what they were, I ASSUME that radio communication was used
from the urgency transmitted during the gallop.
He seemed to do his work with relish.
Report Akak September 6, 2012 5:34 PM BST
Bazzar, if you google " Yasutoshi Ikee aiming at arc glory" you will find a good feature on Orfevre. Sorry I cant paste the page on here but not great on computer.Love
Report MrDinos September 6, 2012 9:13 PM BST
Akak, thanks for your info regarding Ofevre.

A very interesting read below about the Monster and his Trainer.

Yasutoshi Ikee - Aiming at Arc glory
Article taken from European Trainer Online

Yasutoshi Ikee has dreamed of winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe ever since he watched Pilsudski finish second in the 1997 edition. Working for Sir Michael Stoute at the time, he now has his own chance to make history with Japanese Horse of the Year Orfevre.

Based at Ritto Training Centre near Kyoto, Ikee currently occupies the top spot in the trainer’s championship by prize money and lies second in terms of winners. Now one of the stars of Japanese racing, it was only by chance that his family became involved.

“My grandfather was a barber, so we don’t come from a racing family,” Ikee explains, before adding, “When my father Yasuo was at junior school, his teacher said to him that he should become a jockey because of his size.” And so started the dynasty.

Ikee senior began his new career in the saddle in 1959, which spanned 20 years. During this time, he won 368 races, including 17 at stakes level, and was known universally as “front running Ikee” for his style of riding.

After hanging up his boots, Yasuo then became a trainer, going on to handle the careers of several Group 1 winners, including Japanese Horse of the Year and young sire sensation Deep Impact.

Growing up, Ikee junior dreamt of becoming a jockey. With so much in common, he became great friends with Yutaka Take, who attended pre-school with him, and later rode for his father.

Much to Yasutoshi’s disappointment, this career choice was never to materialise. “I always knew right from the start that I was going to be involved in racing. I wanted to start by riding in races, but I quickly became too tall, so that went out of the window.”

As a result, Ikee then trod the path to becoming a trainer. After spending some time with Kuniichi Asami, he went to work for Sir Michael in 1996. “I saw a clip of the Warren Hill gallops on television, and asked my father where it was. When he told me, I made up my mind to go and work in Newmarket because racing started in England, and I wanted to see where it all came from.”

During his year spent at racing’s headquarters, Ikee worked with the likes of Pilsudski, with whom he experienced his first Arc when taking him to Longchamp. Also in the stable at the time was multiple Group 1 victor Singspiel, as well as the talented filly Whitewater Affair, later the dam of Dubai World Cup winner Victoire Pisa for Japan.

The following season, Ikee had a spell in America with Neil Drysdale. “I wanted to see how racing worked in the United States because they train on a round track like we do in Japan. I learnt a lot from him because it was a good combination – he trained like a European, but on a Flat racecourse.”

Ikee first passed his training licence in March 2003, and started his career a year later. Everything fell into place from the outset, something that was becoming customary for the young Nippon. “As is always the case in Japan, I took over from a retired trainer. My first runner had been due to race the week previously before I began, but had been balloted out. He was entered again, and won for me as my first runner. It was just luck!”

One could say that Ikee may have had a head start because of his father’s success, but make no mistake: his impressive results are down to hard work and graft. Like many of his countrymen, he is strikingly modest.

The 37-year-old started with approximately 20 horses and now has three times as many. Such was the confidence in his ability early on, renowned businessman Fusao Sekiguchi, owner of Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, sent him his €2.27 million sales topping foal when the time came. Clearly the world new he was destined for great things.

Another important patronage Ikee was to receive from the beginning was that of the Yoshida Family, who owned half his stable. They now count approximately two thirds of his horses, and gave the young trainer his earliest big race success with Dream Journey, who became champion two-year-old in 2006.

One of the most striking things about Dream Journey when he first saw him was his size, Ikee remembers. “I knew him as a foal at Shadai Stallion Station after he was born, and he was absolutely tiny. He turned into a very good racehorse however, so it definitely didn’t matter.”

It wasn’t by chance that the Yoshidas sent Dream Journey to Ikee, as no other family could know his pedigree so well. Yasuo had trained his sire Stay Gold whilst Yasutoshi had been working as his assistant. Together they had travelled to Dubai, where the son of Sunday Silence won the Sheema Classic in 2001, beating Fantastic Light. That year, he also took the Hong Kong Vase.

Out of the three-time winning mare Oriental Art, Ikee senior had also trained her sire Mejiro McQueen. Inducted into the Japanese Hall of Fame, the grey won four Group 1s for his connections on home soil, including the Tenno Sho Spring (Emperor’s Cup) twice, becoming the third generation of his family to take this race.

After Dream Journey’s success, it was then set in stone that Ikee would continue to receive his dam’s progeny. After coverings by several other Shadai Stallions, it wasn’t until four years later that she visited Stay Gold again, this time producing a phenomenon.

Named Orfevre, or “goldsmith” in French, it seems that the chestnut colt was always destined to take his chance in Longchamp’s €4 million event. Born in early May, Ikee was already impressed.

“When I saw Orfevre as a foal, the first thing I thought was that he was so much bigger than his brother, and a different colour! I said to myself, if his brother was so tiny and he was such a good horse, then this one will be even better.” Dreams were about to become reality for Ikee, but not without some teething problems.

Top class racehorses always have that special something, and for Ikee, it became clear that the highly-strung temperament of the colt’s family was to play a big factor in Orfevre’s career for better and for worse. This was there for all to see when he made his racecourse debut.

“Before his maiden race at Niigata, everything had gone very smoothly. He was training really well and his preparation had pleased me.” On race day, everything continued in the same vein, until the colt’s temperament shone through.

“Orfevre crossed the finishing line with a length and a half to spare, before he succeeded in getting rid of his jockey straight afterwards. They then couldn’t hold the winning ceremony after the race. He is a monster!” Ikee laughs.

The colt quickly progressed to better things, and after another couple of races, Orfevre turned into his Classic year. “His first two prep races didn’t go according to plan, as he was showing a lot of attitude.  By the third however we had worked out a way to handle him.”

What was to follow was outstanding, and Orfevre became the first Japanese Triple Crown winner since Deep Impact in 2005. His win last October in the Kikuka Sho-Japanese St. Leger, the third leg, was an extremely emotional moment for both Ikees, with Yasutoshi dedicating the feat to his family. It was at this point that the Arc picture started to become a reality. 

Winning Europe’s richest race has long since been a preoccupation for the Japanese, whose best results have come with the Yoshitaka Ninomiya-trained pair El Condor Pasa and Nakayama Festa, runners-up in 1999 and 2010, respectively.

Six years ago, Ikee accompanied Deep Impact to France, where he was third past the post in the Arc before later being disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance. At the same time, Ikee brought over his own Picaresque Coat, who went on to finish second in the Group 2 Prix Dollar. “In Japan he wasn’t even stakes class, so I was amazed that he did so well,” he remembers.

That experience has proved invaluable for Yasutoshi, who came to Chantilly in July to do a reconnaissance mission. “Orfevre will stay at Satoshi Kobayashi’s stable during his time here, and I think it will suit him.

“He will have a stable companion, and I think this will make him calmer. It is a fantastic place to train, and the gallops are amazing. Even if he is used to training on the racetrack, it is so peaceful that I think he will have the time to relax that he needs. The way they race in France is quite like Japan, going slowly at the beginning before a sprint finish, so I think that this will suit him too.”

Currently resting at Shadai before his journey at the end of August, Orfevre will use the Prix Foy as a prep race before the big event. Here he will experience French racing for the first time, but also a new jockey. “It has been decided to use Christophe Soumillon, because he knows Longchamp like the back of his hand, and has won two Arcs,” Ikee explains.

The Belgian jockey has been riding in Japan for the Yoshidas and Ikee for several winters. “Christophe said to me last December that it is his dream to win the Arc on a Japanese horse trained by me. At the time I thought he was flattering me, but now it could become reality. One of the most important things is that they get on well together, because Orfevre can be very difficult.”

It won’t be the first time that the two-time Champion jockey has ridden the colt however, as he remembers riding him as a juvenile one morning at Ritto when working for Ikee.

Come the first Sunday in October, both Ikees will be present, together with Yasutoshi’s son, who one suspects is likely to take over the reins when the time comes. Although recently retired, Yasuo still keeps a close eye on the horses, watching them train at least once a week, and goes racing every weekend. They have a very close relationship, conversing regularly about Yasutoshi’s charges, however where the Arc is concerned, father has let son find his own path.

Japanese trainers have won several international prizes, but Longchamp has thus far remained elusive. It surely won’t be long before they do succeed, as one of the Nippons’ most enduring traits is that they never give up.

Should Orfevre be within winning distance in the final stages of the Arc on 7th October, one thing is certain: his many fans will be riding the last few furlongs with Soumillon. A If anyone can win the Arc for Ikee, it’s him and Orfevre.
Report bazzar September 8, 2012 11:52 AM BST
Thank you both AKAK and MR DINOS, very interesting write up and
much more information than most write ups, the trainer is a real enthusiast
with the right attitude for a punter to latch on to.
Report BJG September 12, 2012 11:07 PM BST
Charge gathering momentum today Cool Gwan lad
Report EastLower Gooner September 16, 2012 1:42 PM BST
Should be better in the Arc with a stronger pace and more cover. Quickened up impressively off a slow gallop there. Nice weapon to have for a horsie that stays further.

one slight worry was that Soumy went for the inside run...PLEASE FOR FOX SAKE Dont EVEN TRY ATTEMPTING THAT IN THE ARC!!!!

Meandre fans shouldn't be disappointed...Fabre probably left a bit to work on. He'll be fine in the Arc.
Report MrDinos September 16, 2012 1:54 PM BST
Spot on Gooner, I've posted about that kind of move from Soummy earlier on one of the threads. It does worry me but a geat prep race for the Arc, this fella is the business and he will only have been 70% to 80% fit. I cannot wait for Arc day, it's now or never for the Japanese!

I had to listen to the race over the phone but it sounded impressive, last to first in a flash. Monster performance.
Report bazzar September 16, 2012 2:04 PM BST
The still photo on ZE TURF site, suggests Soumillons typical arrogance was in full mode
today, unfortuately we cannot rule that out in ANY race he rides.
The horse gets 1 mile 6 furlongs so really no need to worry about saving ground, but ALL of these jockeys don't display flexibility, scared of losing and often do.
Report sintonian September 16, 2012 2:32 PM BST
It wasn't very impressive MrDinos. But satisfactory. Bound to improve given he has not run for so long.
Report dtamutants September 16, 2012 5:12 PM BST
For those who haven't seen it:

I was pretty happy with that. I think a small field suits Meandre very well, and the last to first acceleration Orfevre showed will be very very useful in the Arc. I was impressed with Saonois also, and took some of the 16s w 365 immediately after the race
Report Navel-Gazer September 17, 2012 2:31 PM BST
After watching yesterday's trials repeatedly, I have to say my first reaction to Orfevre's win was one of disappointment, and for the obvious reason...the proximity of Joshua Tree.

I still think he's the one to beat in the Arc, and the Foy has just confirmed his well-being & acclimatisation which is always reassuring...just look at how Black Caviar struggled.

Whilst always having had a soft-spot for Shareta, she had a fairly straightforward task (as she was well-ridden and handily placed) but there were a few sob stories in behind, and her supremacy may be exaggerated.

The Niel proved NOTHING (except that Saonois was far speedier than the rest of them) and it was a very disappointing trial, as Kesampour looks a real tough stayer to my eye - I hope connections give him a chance in the big one, though I mentioned after the French Derby on another thread that he had St.Leger written all over him.

Alas, the Aga Khan seems to hate that race after Shergar's demise, and besides the English-trained Baynoun (1984) he has only had one other runner in over 30 years!

In summary...this Orfevre hype has gradually been grabbing me over the last year, and I suspect he's capable of far better than he showed us yesterday.
Well done to the guys who've kept the faith and had the fancy prices...I wish I was one of them Sad
Report sintonian September 17, 2012 2:50 PM BST
Black Caviar injured herself during the race in fairness to her.
Report Navel-Gazer September 17, 2012 3:00 PM BST
I'm not THAT confident when I hear these excuses nowadays...I like Peter Moody, but he could be another Aidan!
A narrow victory over Moonlight Cloud (and she was heavily eased too) isn't exactly embarrassing though the proximity of the others could be seen that way - with Society Rock winning well at Haydock, even the face-value form is excellent, despite clear reasons for her scrambling home.

I think Canford Cliffs' supposed injury is likely to be guff as well, and these exaggerations really insult our intelligence - I'm absolutely convinced if Frankel had kicked a long way out in that Sussex (instead of 300 yards out) he would have slaughtered him like he did to Excelebration in the Queen Anne.

Anyhow...I think you know the point I'm making about Orfevre, and it has to be remembered that connections weren't gonna be foolish enough to leave the Arc behind, by bottoming him in a trial!
I'm now more impressed than I was 24 hours ago.
Report sintonian September 17, 2012 3:13 PM BST
I think the Canford Cliffs injury was guff aswell but if you look at Black Caviars form from Australia where she thumped the likes of Soul then I think the injury is probably true.
Report MrDinos September 17, 2012 3:21 PM BST
Orfevre and the word hype keeps getting mentioned and it's bugging me. He's a triple crown winner and beat seasoned globe trotting horses in one of Japan's biggest races last year which included the Japan Cup winner. His record is there for all to see, no hype just a genuine Arc contender with solid credentials.

Hyping a horse is when they win one good race and people sing from the roof tops that it's going to do this and that but Orfevre has done this and that in his own country. He only needs to win the Arc to add to what has already been a very good racing career.

Sorry Navel but I needed to get that off my chest!

There are loads of big international races now it's not that hard to get a handle of the form from various countries. You can use Snow Fairy as a solid yardstick with her races in Japan and Hong Kong with some of the form. Danedream's run in the Japan Cup was one to put in the bin because that wasn't her true running but there are a lot of other horses I could mention with form in international races that interlink pretty well IMO.
Report Navel-Gazer September 17, 2012 3:31 PM BST
Mr.D - maybe I have used the wrong word, but just like Deep Impact a few years back (who despite excuses failed in the Arc) he also has a superb CV.
I'm hugely impressed with this colt and maybe 'hype' is a word that should be specially reserved for Coolmore runners.

The knowledgeable enthusiasts on here were virtually unanimous in doubting the legend of Camelot BEFORE Saturday, and as you say, Orfevre has earned more respect and achieved more - I bet the Jáps are hoping Frankel's connections don't have a change of heart after the weekend's events, because even in defeat Orfevre has looked magnificent.

I think it was a bit of an anti-climax for me yesterday as I was hoping for an explosive performance like Frankel, but having mulled over things for 24 hours, it was more than a satisfactory trial.

Is that gonna shut you up? DevilGrin
Report MrDinos September 17, 2012 4:05 PM BST
No, Navel! Silly

French trials are always an anti-climax because they are trials. It's cat and mouse and nobody wants to show their real form in a race which is not as important as the Arc.

Your right about Coolmore and hype how many times have we heard O'Brien say this is the best horse we've had, he does this and that on the gallops. It's getting a little tiresome, he never says that much about the female horses he trains. I wonder why!

That's me done, sayonara.
Report bazzar September 17, 2012 6:26 PM BST
MR DINOS, you have hit on the correct reasoning, especially
in relation to fillies, it is the ABBA SONG---- MONEY,MONEY,MONEY.
Referring of course to COOLMORE.
Report MrDinos September 17, 2012 6:53 PM BST
Coolmore and the gang have come out with some brilliant stuff over the years. Which horse would O'Brien say is the best his trained now!!! I wouldn't have a clue.
Report EastLower Gooner September 17, 2012 6:58 PM BST
Will be playing the following in exactas and tricasts (is there a PMU superfecta? cause I want some of that too).....

Danedream - Holds the key formlines and to be quite honest aint done much wrong this season. She seems to have developed a real battling attiude this season too. 

Shareta - Just keeps on improving. Would appear to be stronger and more professional that last year.

Orfevre - Still no telling how good he really is. We know he's good but just how good?

Snow Fairy - I'm a sucker for horses on their 3rd run off a break and she's won her first two...back to back g1s. Irish Champion can produce Arc winners. Turn of foot was massively impressive on both starts.

I think these 4 hold the key to the race. With Soanois I keep thinking about Vision D'Etat who was from the same sire and had a very similar run style but found a flat out 12f in the ARC a bit too much for his powerkick over 10f. Don't really like the rest.
Report EastLower Gooner September 17, 2012 7:00 PM BST
Meandre reminds me of Shirocco the year he ran away with the BC Turf so I'll wait for that.
Report MrDinos September 17, 2012 7:15 PM BST
I can't argue with that Gooner, a good appraisal of each horse. Best of luck with the Superfecta!
Report FatoteSport September 18, 2012 10:35 PM BST
Is it possible to bet on the PMU from the UK?
Report MrDinos September 29, 2012 1:13 PM BST
News from

Orfevre was only three-quarters fit when he won the Prix Foy at Longchamp last month, trainer Yasutoshi Ikee has revealed.

The Japanese Triple Crown winner was backed down to 7-2-1 outright favouritism with many firms for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe today after the news that Snow Fairy had been pulled from the race broke as the four-year-old gears up to become the first horse from Japan to win next Sunday’s event.
Orfevre brushed aside Meandre in the Prix Foy, run over the Arc distance, to confirm his well-being on his first run outside the Far East under Christophe Soumillon.

“It was his first experience of running in Europe,” Ikee told Racing UK's Planet Turf. “He’s improving his fitness and he was only 75 per cent last time. Soumillion said it was a perfect trial.”

Although the pace was slow, Orfevre injected lightening pace into the race five furlongs from home. The son of Stay Gold covered the 400m (2f) from the 1000m mark in 22.49 seconds, before covering the next two 200-metre sectionals in 11.59 and 11.39. According to Simon Rowlands, Timeform’s Timeform's Head of Research and Development, Orfevre covered the four furlongs from the 1000m-mark 0.6 seconds faster than the 2011 Arc won by Danedream.

“The pace must be faster than the Foy,” Ikee, who worked in England for Sir Michael Stoute, added. “He settled well in Prix Foy so it should not be a problem.”

Although Japanese Group One races have some of the biggest fields in the world Ikee is concerned about the number of runners that could line up at Longchamp. It is one of a number of his concerns.

While the Japan Derby is attended by over 100,000 people every year the spectators, and more importantly, the cameras, are placed further back than at the intimate Longchamp parade ring.

“We are concerned about the crowd,” Ikee said. “On Tokyo Derby day the crowds are bigger and we coped with it okay. He had a hood on then, but no earplugs, just like at Longchamp [last time].”
Report wormster September 29, 2012 1:58 PM BST
Planet Turf Arc Special can be seen at 10am tomorrow on Racing UK & will be repeated throughout the week.
Report MrDinos October 3, 2012 8:31 PM BST
I've got a You Tube link of Orfevre doing a piece of work today. Sorry Bazz it's all in French and I haven't got a clue what they are saying in the video but some of the footage (not much) looks good.

One for the Frenchies.
Report FatoteSport October 4, 2012 12:06 AM BST
Anyone know the answer to my PMU question? (can we bet on it?)
Report MrDinos October 4, 2012 7:09 AM BST
FatoteSport you can bet on the PMU with the Stoke City bookies, Puppy Power, TSport and a few others. You shouldn't have a problem!
Report MrDinos October 4, 2012 10:30 PM BST
Japan's Orfevre ready for Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
By Pirate Irwin (AFP)

PARIS – Should Orfevre give Japan their first win in Europe's most prestigious race the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on Sunday it should be considered a magnificent feat for the whole country, his trainer Yasutoshi Ikee said.

The 37-year-old - who first dreamed of winning the Arc when he worked for English training great Sir Michael Stoute in the late 1990's - will not only be trying to end 32 years of frustration for his compatriots but also make up for his father Yasuo's disappointment in the 2006 edition.

For Yasuo - also a trainer and the first member of the family to be involved in racing - brought Deep Impact over as a hot favourite for the Arc but he could finish only third and was subsequently disqualified for testing positive for a banned substance.

Thus Yasutoshi, who has been a trainer since 2003, is more aware than many of the great expectations surrounding his horse, who last year became the first Japanese Triple Crown winner since Deep Impact achieved that in 2005.

He hopes the similarities end there and that Orfevre succeeds where 12 previous challenges failed in a race that holds a mythical status for Japanese turfistes.

"To give Japan their first win in what is the most important race in the world would be truly magnificent," said Ikee on Wednesday before the massed ranks of the media such has been the interest engendered by Orfevre.

"It has been a dream of mine for nearly 20 years and for the Japanese people it has been even longer."

As to how he will feel should he succeed in what has become Japanese racing's search for the Holy Grail he was not certain.

"I won't know until it happens," he said with a smile.

"One thing is for sure the pleasure will be greater than it is now."

Ikee has left nothing to chance in the preparations for the Arc of the five time Group One winner including taking the unprecedented step for a Japanese stable of putting on board a non-Japanese rider.

However, it is no ordinary jockey he has chosen - step forward France-based Belgian ace and two-time Arc winning rider Christophe Soumillon, who got to know the Ikee family by riding for them in Japan in the past two years.

"He has won two Arcs, he knows the terrain and is a great jockey plus one that we know," said Ikee.

Ikee's decision met with the approval of the man who had Soumillon on board for his two Arc wins, Alain de Royer Dupre, who saddles one of the great dangers to Orfevre in last year's runner-up Shareta.

"If Orfevre has an advantage it is Soumillon," the 68-year-old trainer told AFP.

"He won twice for us (Dalakhani 2003, Zarkava 2008). The Japanese always used to put their own jockeys on their horses and that was a disadvantage.

"I feel that in terms of choosing a jockey it is rather like football, it is easier playing at home than away."

Ikee, who also had a spell working in the United States before he returned home, is also not concerned by Orfevre's habit of switching off in races, which whilst he is phlegmatic about it if repeated in the Arc would be fatal.

"I am not too concerned where he finds himself in the initial stages so long as he finds his rhythm," he said.

Ikee is confident that his star has made significant progress since he won the traditional Arc prep race for older horses the Prix Foy at Longchamp nearly three weeks ago, although even with his pacemaker Aventino, who performs the same task on Sunday, it was a slow run affair.

"I believe he is getting better and better every day and I am confident.

"He is a winner, he has the spirit of a champion and he has adapted to the different terrain in France."

Aside from dreading rain as his horse prefers good ground the only thing that ruffled the trainer was the undue attention of former jump racing star Al Capone III, who peered out of his stable and chomped away at his jacket.

"Have I ever had an interview interrupted by a horse before? Yes just once and that was Orfevre!"
Report FatoteSport October 4, 2012 11:43 PM BST
Thanks MrD.
Report EastLower Gooner October 5, 2012 11:57 AM BST
SOUMILLON means war:

"All the Japanese fans would like to see a Japanese horse win the Arc. I hope I can deliver what all the Japanese fans expect.

"I'm not afraid of anyone. I'm a sportsman and it's not good to be afraid."


fighting words that....clearly pumped up to deliver a masterful ride. wide draw no've all seen him race in Japan and you gotta be happy that Soumy isn't bottled up on the inside...will got wide and stay wide for a clear shot at the lead in the straight.
Report BJG October 5, 2012 12:05 PM BST
Shocking draw Sad
Report bazzar October 5, 2012 12:13 PM BST
Well it dosen't bother me, it's a bit like saying the horses have to jump 30 fences in the National , it HAS to be done to win, we had a debate on the draw in the Cesarewitch last year and look what happened there.
This race is 12 furlongs and if a jockey cannot cope, then he is in the wrong job.
Report Navel-Gazer October 5, 2012 3:00 PM BST
The draw just means the latecomers can get a bigger price for the Jáp Grin
I find it strange how the market becomes as volatile as it does when the draw is's not exactly a 5f Chester sprint is it?

Bladdered last up late to see I'd set lay bets that surprisingly were taken, including a rather damaging £40 lay of Kesampour at 50!
No problem, as I can get that back but I was hoping for something with a bit more meat on - what a greedy fcuker I am! Grin

One day Betfair will surely get their heads around linking AP markets with day of the race - it's a real inconvenience Sad
Report EastLower Gooner October 5, 2012 4:52 PM BST
Aventino....I'm calling it....CORAL CUP 2013!
Report bazzar October 5, 2012 4:52 PM BST
Down the years I have had people saying things that only make
sense to them, number one stall at Chester, but look at the results,
never back number one draw at Carholme, yet although I can't remember
a horse drawn one winning the LINCOLN, one horse went very close and
carried top weight to finish second.
One told me to never back horses at ROYAL ASCOT and CHELTENHAM nor
NEWMARKET (the rogues course), he couldn't find his harris in the dark,
to take a poo, never saw him draw from a bet, but stopped watching after a while.
One bloke asked me for a winner, I told him what I thought would win that day,
because it was trained by JULIE CECIL, he wasn't backing a horse trained by a woman,
it won at 11/2, needless to say never gave him another horse.
Report Navel-Gazer October 5, 2012 5:03 PM BST
Bazzar - give that bloke's address to Jenny Pitman Grin

PS - I once saw a masterful piece of Piggott front-running in a sprint where he was drawn 16 of 16 and he won the race anticipating the start.
It was a decent price too and if Betfair had existed those days, it would have been a quarter of its price after 50 yards!

As you say...circumstances aren't insurmountable with the right horse and a good pilot, though the draw stats with many big races over longer distances do tell a tale.

Overturn overcame his wide berth in the Northumberland Plate, and if the jockey's good enough, it shouldn't be too disadvantageous.
Report EastLower Gooner October 5, 2012 5:07 PM BST
dont need a good jockey to be honest...just one with his brain switch on for two minutes.

I'll Have Another won the Kentucky Derby from stall19 with Super Mario Gutierrez on board.

SOumy knows!!!! I'm happy because I dont have to worry about him trying to weave and bob and find a gap. clear run. go for it. pace makers should have that strung out too...shouldnt be more than 3 wide. 2 wide if he's smart.
Report bazzar October 5, 2012 5:11 PM BST
A more recent example was FALLON on MOST IMPROVED at ROYAL ASCOT, DETTORI on NEVER CAN TELL in the Cesarewitch, but why that race should stike fear as regards draw just NEVER made sense to me, 2 and a quarter miles, I MEAN , REALLY?
Report Navel-Gazer October 5, 2012 5:14 PM BST
PS - I forgot to add that the Piggott ride was at Chester!
Report bazzar October 5, 2012 5:23 PM BST
Lester was the BEST jockey I ever saw, but he was a greedy selfish person,
his will to win was driven by a desire to be the best, consequently he
plotted many big gambles in tandem with the connections, I believe that because of his deafness he became self reliant and did not make friends easily, but he was admired for his ability and determination, that does not happen a lot in our choice of hobby.
Report EastLower Gooner October 9, 2012 9:42 AM BST

poor lads.
Report MrDinos October 9, 2012 5:45 PM BST
Brilliant stuff Gooner, very funny!!! I was a bit like that as well but I didn't start celebrating. Laugh
Report EastLower Gooner October 9, 2012 9:30 PM BST
me too....been there, done it and had the sad realisation after. sobering.

purple moon in the melbourne cup springs to mind. hours after the ebor I hammered him with all the aussie bookmakers I could fine. back then they didnt have a clue about Luca Cumani. Got plenty of 80s and 70s. at those odds it dont take much to wrack up a big potential win. never laid off. thought I'd let it ride.....when he turned for home on the steel all I could see was Dollar Bills on the screen then I spotted Efficient starting to run on and the rest was history.

ps how cool is the guy in the shades!!! he was the first to spot Peslier rallying on Solemia.
Report MrDinos October 9, 2012 11:41 PM BST
The guy wearing the mock up Orfevre colours cracks me up but you are spot on about the cool dude in the shades, he looks like he's come from another galaxy. Nobody does it like the Japanese.

Gooner, that must have been hard to take!!! Ecstasy and agony within a few seconds, that's horse racing.
Report MrDinos October 14, 2012 9:11 AM BST
Reports from Japan suggest that the monster's next run will be in the Japan Cup or Arima Kinen but not both!! He will be odds on whichever one he goes for. Cool

Another Triple Crown winner for the Sunday Racing Co. today, filly Gentildonna (Deep Impact) won the Shuka Sho (G1) by a nose. She had a wide draw to overcome (14) but just managed to do it. Sunday Racing Co. keep banging in the winners, it's just a shame the monster couldn't do it for them in the Arc last week? Sad
Report bazzar October 14, 2012 10:41 AM BST
Just ONE second delay by Soumillon and we would have been celebrating a JAPANESE ARC winner.
Report EastLower Gooner October 14, 2012 4:52 PM BST
btw....anyone know any bookmakers covering the Arima Kinen. they never do.
Report MrDinos October 14, 2012 5:54 PM BST
I don't think any bookies cover it Gooner, I wanted to back a couple EW last year but there was nothing! It would be a great way to start Christmas Day seeing the monster win back to back Arima Kinen's. A couple of horses have won back to back Kinen's in the past 15 years as well. AtTheRaces need to pull their finger out and stick it on.

I think he might go for the Japan Cup because it's a race he hasn't ran in yet but they could also run Gentildonna and they've got Rulership!!! I suppose it all depends on how well he's travelled back to Japan.
Report bazzar October 14, 2012 7:58 PM BST
I managed to get on him last Christmas day on the Friday, with willies after being knocked back earlier same firm different shop, £80 suited me, still love a punt if great horses involved.
They stopped racing a couple of days before Christmas in Britain, JAPAN a Shinto nation.
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