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Connections of Titleholder dreaming of first Arc success for Japan

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Trainer Toru Kurita admits it would be a dream come true if Titleholder can provide Japan with an elusive first victory in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at ParisLongchamp on Sunday.

It has been an ongoing quest for the Japanese to claim Europe’s premier middle-distance prize, with the El Condor Pasa memorably pushing Montjeu close in 1999.

The hugely popular Deep Impact was beaten less than a length into third place when hot favourite for the 2006 renewal of the Longchamp showpiece, while four years later Nakayama Festa was denied by a head by Sir Michael Stoute’s Workforce.

Japan looked sure to finally claim Arc glory when Orfevre swept clear in 2012, but he was heartbreakingly reeled in by Solemia and beaten a neck. He returned to Paris 12 months later and finished second once more, this time behind dual Arc heroine Treve.

Titleholder, winner of last year’s Japanese St Leger, was last seen winning the Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin in June – becoming the first horse to win the Grade One contest and the Tenno Sho in the same season since Deep Impact 16 years ago.

Asked what it would mean for his stable to become the first Japanese Arc winner, Kurita said: “It’s a dream for everyone. Many prestigious, very good Japanese horses have come and tried it and haven’t won.

“For me personally it’s really a dream just to be at the start of this race and we will do as much as we can to win it.

“It’s very difficult to tell what the reaction would be in Japan. Obviously everybody would be super happy. Every year the horses come to Longchamp and have a lot of Japanese followers.”

After seeing Titleholder enjoy a Wednesday morning workout in Chantilly, Kurita is confident he is firing on all cylinders ahead of Europe’s biggest race.

“We gave him a grass gallop this morning. There were two horses in front of him and he was waiting behind and he adapted himself very well to the ground,” said the trainer.

“They went approximately a mile and a quarter, went slowly at the beginning and then quickened in the final four furlongs. The horse came close to joining the other ones in front. It was a good workout.

“It is very difficult to put a number on it (how much he can improve), but I can feel that the horse is getting better – he is improving and coming right for the race.”

Kazuo Yokoyama has been ever present in the saddle aboard Titleholder this year and is relishing the opportunity to ride him again on his French debut.

He said: “It’s a very prestigious race and I’m very happy to ride in it, but I’m not going to concern myself with the other horses and will just ride my race.

“As the trainer explained, we did a gallop this morning with two horses in front and the main thing for me was to be behind and to check that my horse was mentally fit and well.

“The ground was very soft, but my horse didn’t have any problems going through it and I have a very good idea now how he is going to be in the race.

“Two or three years ago I didn’t think I would ride in this race. I’m extremely delighted to be here now and very happy to ride Titleholder, who every time I’ve ridden him has become stronger.”

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Free Daily Race Pass (Result)

CHELMSFORD CITY 19:00

Thursday 08 December
2. EXCEL POWER (IRE) 1st
Luke Morris silk Luke Morris
Archie Watson
5. BALDOMERO (IRE) 2nd
Frederick Larson silk Frederick Larson
Michael Appleby
Go to full race

LATEST HORSE RACING RESULTS

20:30 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st David Probert silk 2. STORM CATCHER (IRE) 7/24.5f
2nd Rhys Clutterbuck silk 8. THE BAY WARRIOR (IRE) 7/18
3rd Aidan Keeley silk ½ 5. FAR HORIZON (IRE) 4/15
T: Simon Pearce  
All 8 ran.
FULL RESULT

20:00 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st David Probert silk 4. FULL INTENTION 5/23.5f
2nd Taylor Fisher silk 3 8. PORT NOIR 10/111
3rd Thore Hammer-Hansen silk 3. SILKS PASS 8/19
T: Simon Pearce  
All 12 ran.
FULL RESULT

19:30 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Kevin Stott silk 6. ALAFDHAL (IRE) 4/15
2nd Tom Eaves silk ns 1. ARAIFJAN 9/43.25f
3rd Jason Hart silk 8. HIT MAC (IRE) 5/23.5
J: Kevin Stott  
T: Phil McEntee  
11 ran. NRs: 11 
FULL RESULT

19:00 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Luke Morris silk 2. EXCEL POWER (IRE) 11/43.75
2nd Frederick Larson silk 5. BALDOMERO (IRE) 9/43.25f
J: Luke Morris  
All 5 ran.
FULL RESULT

18:30 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Jack Mitchell silk 8. DEMI POINTE 5/42.25f
2nd Adam Kirby silk 6. THE X O (IRE) 9/43.25
3rd Joanna Mason silk 1 9. LADY BEECHFIELD 33/134
T: Roger Varian  
All 9 ran.
FULL RESULT

18:00 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Daniel Muscutt silk 2. BEELZEBUB (IRE) 13/82.62
2nd Cieren Fallon silk 3. ERTEBAT 17/29.5
7 ran. NRs: 1  4  9 
FULL RESULT

17:30 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Christian Howarth silk 6. SECRETARY 66/167
2nd Kieran O'Neill silk nk 7. SKYBLUE EXPERT 3/14
3rd Kevin Stott silk hd 3. ATTRAZIONE (IRE) 9/43.25f
J: Christian Howarth (5)  
11 ran. NRs: 12  4  5 
FULL RESULT

17:00 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Mr Frederick Tett silk 7. PERSIAN WOLF (IRE) 7/24.5
2nd Miss Imogen Levick silk ¾ 6. BASCINET 15/28.5
3rd Miss Jessica Barraclough silk 1 5. PRINCE ACHILLE 33/134
T: Phil McEntee  
All 9 ran.
FULL RESULT

16:30 CHELMSFORD CITY

1st Miss Taryn Langley silk 6. VILLALOBOS (IRE) 7/42.75f
2nd Mr Simon Walker silk nk 1. ENGRAVE 5/23.5
3rd Miss Isabelle Ryder silk ½ 2. GRAFFITI 15/28.5
J: Miss Taryn Langley (5)  
All 10 ran.
FULL RESULT
Go to Horse Racing Results