12/26/2011 2:09PM

Japan: Orfevre wins Arima Kinen; Buena Vista retired


Orfevre, the winner of the Japanese Triple Crown earlier this year, ended a remarkable 2011 season with a victory in his first start against older horses in Sunday’s $5.3 million Arima Kinen at Nakayama Racecourse in Japan.

The race marked the final start for Japan Cup winner Buena Vista, who could only manage a seventh in the field of 13.

Orfevre is expected to have an international campaign in 2012, with a race on the Dubai World Cup card in March and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris in October under consideration, according to trainer Yasutoshi Ikee.

In the Grade 1 Arima Kinen, Orfevre, ridden by Kenicki Ikezoe, rallied from the rear of the field with a wide move through the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length over Eishin Flash. To the Glory finished third. Buena Vista’s seventh place finish left her one position in front of Victoire Pisa, the winner of the $10 million Dubai World Cup in March.

After the last race on the program, Buena Vista was retired in a public ceremony at Nakayama Racecourse. According to a statement released by the Japan Racing Association, more than 60,000 of the 115,065 who attended the race stayed for the ceremony. A winner of 9 of 23 starts, Buena Vista is expected to be bred King Kamehameha, a Kingmambo stallion based in Japan.

Orfevre has won 7 of 10 starts and six consecutive races. His Triple Crown wins earlier this year were in the Japanese 2000 Guineas in April, Japanese Derby in May, and Japanese St. Leger in October.

◗ Kauto Star, an 11-year-old gelding, won Monday’s King George VI Chase for a record fifth time at Kempton Park, outside of London.

Ridden by Ruby Walsh, 3-1 Kauto Star finished 1 1/4 lengths in front of defending champion Long Run, the even-money favorite in the three-mile race over 18 fences.

Trained by Paul Nicholls, Kauto Star won the King George VI Chase from 2006 to 2009 and was second to Long Run in a January running of the King George, which had been postponed three weeks because of weather.