Orfevre makes his eagerly awaited return to French soil when he lines up in Sunday’s Prix Foy at Longchamp.
Brought over from Japan to land this trial last year, the chestnut suffered an agonising defeat in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe when idling in front inside the final furlong and getting collared by Solemia.
Then beaten a nose in the Japan Cup, Yasutoshi Ikee’s star made only one more appearance when an easy winner of a Grade Two at the end of March before being sidelined, reportedly with a bleeding issue.
Orfevre’s life did not get any easier once he had touched down back in Chantilly as he was kicked in the nose by his work companion Blarney Stone prior to his first serious pipe-opener.
However, he has returned to his exercise regime and has been working nicely on the Les Aigles gallop under big-race pilot Christophe Soumillon.
“Last year, he acclimatised to his surroundings immediately and this year is the same,” said Ikee.
The Foy is likely to determine the future of the 2011 Emirates Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden.
Mikel Delzangles’ stayer was down the field back at Flemington last year but looked as if he was returning to his best when second to subsequent King George hero Novellist in his most recent outing in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.
“It was a good run last time, especially with the way Novellist won at Ascot, and I’m hoping he can run well on Sunday,” said Delzangles.
“After that, we will know which way we go next, if we go to the Arc or if we go back to Australia.”