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Camelot favoured

Date

Paris

Orfevre gets a workout earlier in the week.

Orfevre gets a workout earlier in the week. Photo: AFP

CAMELOT can break Japanese hearts and see off the challenge of their favourite Orfevre in Europe's most prestigious race the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp tonight.

Orfevre - Japan's 2011 horse of the year - is the 13th challenger sent by the Japanese in the past 33 years to try to conquer a race they compare to the quest for the Holy Grail.

The Yasutoshi Ikee-trained star's chances were boosted in the past week as three of his biggest rivals dropped out, led by last year's brilliant German winner Danedream.

But Friday's draw handed Orfevre a huge blow as he was drawn 18 of the 18 runners, a stall from which only the great Irish champion Alleged has previously won from in the first of his two victories in 1977.

By contrast Orfevre's main rival and co-favourite Camelot will launch his challenge from the much more favoured stall five.

Camelot too will have Italian great Frankie Dettori on board after trainer Aidan O'Brien hired him as O'Brien's son Joseph is unable to do the weight.

''It's an honour for me to ride the horse,'' said the 41-year-old.

AFP

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