10/23/2011 12:47PM

Orfevre completes sweep of Japanese Triple Crown

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Orfevre became the first horse in six years to sweep the Japanese Triple Crown with an impressive victory in Sunday’s Group 1 Japanese St. Leger, the Kikuka Sho, at Kyoto Racecourse.

Ridden by Kenichi Ikezoe, Orfevre, the 2-5 favorite, rallied from the middle of the 18-horse field to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Win Variation, a 6-1 shot who closed from last. Tosen Ra, the 11-1 third choice, finished third.

Orfevre’s win could lead to a start against older horses in the $6.1 million Japan Cup over 1 1/2 miles at Tokyo Racecourse on Nov. 27.

Orfevre joins 2005 Triple Crown winner Deep Impact as recent winners of the Japanese Triple Crown, which include the Japanese 2000 Guineas in April and the Japanese Derby in May. Overall, seven horses have swept the series.

Orfevre prepped for Sunday’s $2.7 million St. Leger over 1 7/8 miles with a victory in the Group 2 Kobe Shimbun Hai Stakes over 1 1/2 miles last month.

By Stay Gold, Orfevre is trained by Yasutoshi Ikee for Sunday Racing Co. Orfevre has won 6 of 10 starts and five consecutive stakes.