Ikee expects Orfevre improvement

  • Last Updated: September 17 2012, 11:51 BST

Trainer Yasutoshi Ikee believes Prix Foy winner Orfevre will be in even better shape when he contests the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp next month.

Orfevre: Expected to improve (photo courtesy of the Japanese Racing Association)

Given a confident ride by Christophe Soumillon, he quickened up smartly to beat triple Group One winner Meandre in fine style at the Paris track.

"His footwork has changed bit by bit," Ikee told www.japanracing.jp.

"He's running in a way better suited to the going and I think he'll get even better.

"He won for us but I could feel just how high the wall of international competition is.

"You're never allowed to win too easily. He had a bit of trouble settling in the first half of the race, but in the latter half, when the pace picked up, he ran very nicely.

"In work, Soumillon had done well working together with him and said he found the horse easy to handle but I think now he'll realize that that is not always the case.

"The difficulties they experienced in the first half will be good experience for not only the horse, but the jockey as well, as we head toward the big race.

"All the staff together will be doing their best and I think we'll be able to have (Orfevre) even in better shape for the race."

Japanese raiders have enjoyed some success in the autumn showpiece in recent years, with El Condor Pasa (1999) and Nakayama Festa (2010) finishing second while Deep Impact was third past the post in 2006, although he was subsequently disqualified following a positive drugs test.