Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 2014: Japan hopeful of ending Paris curse


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The Independent Online

When Jinx!!! was released in Tokyo cinemas last year, some may have wondered if it was a documentary chronicling racing’s latest national heartbreak in Paris, rather than just another Japanese romcom.

This is not a crazy thought. Racing is huge in Japan, while their pursuit of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has become an elusive obsession.

Orfevre, in 2012, was the most painful of a catalogue of close calls, faltering just as victory seemed inevitable, and last year the horse was unlucky to run into Treve, a brilliant filly on top of her game. Even so, more than 60,000 turned out for Orfevre’s retirement ceremony.

Next Sunday Japan’s hopes are spread among Harp Star, Gold Ship and Just A Way, all in with a decent shout.

Tiggy Wiggy would surely have a huge fan club if she were trained in Japan. They will surely enjoy what they see when she takes on older sprinters in an Arc day aperitif, the Prix de l’Abbaye, for which she remains a strong favourite after blitzing high class rivals in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket. Apprentice Louis Steward won another major handicap in his breakthrough season when Bronze Angel became only the seventh horse ever to land two Cambridgeshires.

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