Fourth-pick Orfevre held off favorite Sadamu Patek for a sweeping three-length victory in the Satsuki-sho on Sunday to capture the first jewel in the Triple Crown.
With Kenichi Ikezoe at the irons, Orfevre blew past a full field of 18 on the final straight to cut a time of 2 minutes, 0.6 seconds over the 2,000 meters on firm going at Tokyo Racecourse.
Last year’s Satsuki-sho champion Victoire Pisa went on to win the world’s richest race in March, the $10 million Dubai World Cup.
It was the first Satsuki-sho for both the jockey and the trainer, Yasutoshi Ikee.
“I’m ecstatic,” Ikezoe said. “I’ve finally won my first Classic race with the boys.
“He was a little irritated during the paddock and had a hard time easing into the race. But he managed to settle down at the back and traveled well from that point on.
“He’s still got a lot to learn, but I’m proud of him today,” he said.