12/22/2011 2:05PM

Buena Vista meets Orfevre in Japan's Arima Kinen


A first-ever matchup between Buena Vista, the winner of the Japan Cup last month, and Orfevre, the winner of the 2011 Japanese Triple Crown, will be the focus of Sunday’s Grade 1 Arima Kinen at Nakayama Racecourse.

The Arima Kinen is worth approximately $4.9 million and is run over about 1 9/16 miles on a right-handed track.

Buena Vista, a 5-year-old mare, will be favored on the strength of her hard-fought win in the Japan Cup on Nov. 27, when she edged Tosen Jordan by a neck. Tosen Jordan is also part of the 14-runner Arima Kinen field.

Sunday’s race will be Buena Vista’s third consecutive start in the Arima Kinen, preceded by second-place finishes in the last two years. She breaks from the rail and will be ridden by Yasunari Iwata. The 2010 winner of the Arima Kinen, Victoire Pisa starts from post 2. Victoire Pisa won the Dubai World Cup earlier this year but was only 13th in the Japan Cup.

Jaguar Mail, third in the Japan Cup, also starts in the Arima Kinen.

Orfevre has not started since winning the Japanese St. Leger in October. Earlier this year, he won the Japanese 2000 Guineas, Japanese Derby and two Grade 2 races. He was held out of the Japan Cup in favor of this race.

Kempton: King George VI Chase winners face off

Long Run and Kauto Star have won the last five runnings of the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park and are expected to extend that streak in Monday’s race near London.

As of Thursday, Long Run was the 5-4 favorite to win the race for the second consecutive running. A 6-year-old, Long Run won the race in January after it was postponed for three weeks because of poor weather. He later won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.

Kauto Star, an 11-year-old, was a 3-1 chance. He won the race annually from 2006 to 2009 and was second to Long Run last January. Kauto Star won the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2007 and 2009 and was second in 2008.

Last month, they were first and second in the Betfair Chase at Haydock Park, with Kauto Star winning by eight lengths.

The King George VI Chase, worth approximately $279,000, is run over three miles covering 18 fences.