Gerard and Alain Wertheimer’s Solemia overtook front-runner Orferve in the final strides to win the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) by a neck last month at Longchamp in a stunning loss to Japan’s reigning Horse of the Year.
Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee made the decision to run in the Japan Cup following a workout by Sunday Racing's 4-year-old son of Stay Gold at Ritto Training Center Nov. 9. It was Orferve's first serious workout since emerging from quarantine.
"I watched his movement, breathing, and condition after today's work and it is perfect,” Ikee told Racing Post. “Orfevre was like a body builder before the Arc, so he looks smaller now. But I think he will be back (to peak condition) after he eats and works well."
Orferve won the Japanese Triple Crown in 2011.
Solemia, trained by Carlos Laffon-Parias, is expected to leave for Japan Nov. 13.