Orfevre's Arima Kinen and Retirement Ceremony

A slideshow to celebrate Japan's champion Orfevre and his retirement.

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Japanese star Orfevre bowed out of racing in fine style Dec. 22 when winning the Arima Kinen (Jpn-I) by a commanding eight lengths at Nakayama.

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Photo: Naoji Inada

The 5-year-old son of Stay Gold was all business as the on-track crowd of 124,782 roared when he swept from near the back of the 16-horse field around the final turn to take charge at the top of the straight. From there, the question was not would he win, but by how many lengths.

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Photo: Naoji Inada

Orfevre wins the Arima Kinen.

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Photo: Masakazu Takahashi

"I tried to focus on how to settle the horse and to keep him in good rhythm instead of where to position him or anything about the other horses," Kenichi Ikezoe said. "He was a bit keen to go, but I kept him reserved behind Gold Ship hoping he would stay settled.

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Photo: Masakazu Takahashi

Orfevre, whose connections skipped the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) one month ago to concentrate on the Arima Kinen, concludes his racing career as Japan's second-highest top earner with a bankroll ¥1,576,213,000 ($15,087,709), ranking only behind all-time leading earner T.M.Opera O.

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Photo: Naoji Inada

Bred by Shadai Corp. and owned by Sunday Racing Co., Orfevre is to begin his stallion career at Shadai Stallion Station in Hokkaido.

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Photo: Naoji Inada

Orfevre is patted by jockey Kenichi Ikezoe after winning the Arima Kinen.

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Photo: Naoji Inada

Orfevre following his Arima Kinen (Grand Prix) win.

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Photo: Naoji Inada

Orfevre being lead along the front of the grand stand for his retirement ceremony.

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Photo: Masakazu Takahashi

Orfevre, jockey Kenichi Ikezoe, and his connections being honored at his retirement ceremony.

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Photo: Masakazu Takahashi

Orfevre being honored during his retirement ceremony.

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Photo: Masakazu Takahashi

Orfevre's retirement celebration was a massive spectacle in Japan with much media coverage.

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Photo: Kate Hunter

Orfevre goes out a champion in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans.

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Photo: Kate Hunter

Orfevre walks in the spotlight during his retirement ceremony.

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Photo: Kate Hunter

Orfevre goes out a champion in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans.

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Photo: Kate Hunter

Orfevre being paraded during his retirement ceremony with thousands of camera flashes emitting from the crowd.

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Photo: Kate Hunter

Orfevre during his retirement celebration.

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Photo: Kate Hunter

Winner of the 2011 Arima Kinen after securing Japan's Triple Crown en route to Horse of the Year honors, Orfevre retires with 12 wins, including six at the top level, from 21 career starts.

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Photo: Kate Hunter

Orfevre, who is out of the Mejiro Queen mare Oriental Art, secured his Triple Crown the year of the devastating Fukushima earthquake and became an icon in his native country. 

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Photo: Kate Hunter

Orfevre retiring a champion. "I like to think he gave people hope and something to look forward to," Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee said. "'Thank you' is all I can say, really."

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Photo: Kate Hunter

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