Solemia dashes Japanese hopes in thrilling Arc finish

Solemia dashes Orfevre's hopes
Solemia dashes Orfevre's hopes

    JUST WATCHED

    Solemia dashes Orfevre's hopes

MUST WATCH

Solemia dashes Orfevre's hopes 00:55

Story highlights

  • Outsider Solemia wins Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp
  • Runs down Japanese favorite Orfevre in final strides
  • Epsom Derby winner Camelot finishes seventh
  • Last year's winner Danedream unable to defend the crown

Japanese raider Orfevre failed in his bid to become the first non-European trained winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe when he was denied by home-grown outsider Solemia at Longchamp Sunday.

After a huge last-to-first move, Orfevre was dramatically run down in the final strides by Solemia to give jockey Olivier Peslier his fourth win in the race, breaking thousands of Japanese hearts in the process.

Orfevre, already a Triple Crown winner in his home country, looked to be pulling clear of the field as they entered the home straight.

But four-year-old filly Solemia responded to her jockey to run down Orfevre, ridden by four-time champion jockey Christophe Soumillon, winning by a head.

Although not considered among the favorites heading in to the Longchamp showpiece, Solemia's victory maintains the successful recent record of fillies in this race.

Japan's hopes pinned on Orfevre
Japan's hopes pinned on Orfevre

    JUST WATCHED

    Japan's hopes pinned on Orfevre

MUST WATCH

Japan's hopes pinned on Orfevre 02:45
PLAY VIDEO
French hopes rest on Shareta
French hopes rest on Shareta

    JUST WATCHED

    French hopes rest on Shareta

MUST WATCH

French hopes rest on Shareta 02:33
PLAY VIDEO

Last year's winner, Danedream, was also a filly.

Thousands of Japanese fans and more than 100 accredited journalists from the country had descended on Paris to witness arguably their best chance at capturing the Arc since Deep Impact in 2006.

Racing-mad Japan has long had designs on Europe's most prestigious race, having sent their first runner to Longchamp in 1969.

Japanese Horse of the Year Orfevre was widely considered among the favorites for this year's edition, despite being drawn in the unfavorable stall 18 -- the widest possible berth.

Widely considered Europe's most prestigious all-age race, this year's running was notable for its high-profile absentees.

First Ed Dunlop's tough filly Snow Fairy, third in this race in 2011, was ruled out after suffering a slight injury in training.

Then defending champion Danedream was sensationally scratched after an outbreak of swamp fever at her training center in Germany.

Although Danedream herself is completely healthy, German veterinary authorities immediately slapped a travel ban on all horses entering or leaving the facility, meaning she was unable to make the trip to Paris.

With Frankel, rated the best horse in the world, also opting to sit this one out, it appeared to leave the field wide open for Orfevre, who had previously demonstrated form over the mile-and-a-half distance, as well as a devastating turn of foot.

Outside of the duel for first place, Masterstroke, ridden by French jockey Mikael Barzalona, finished third.

The Aiden O'Brien-trained Camelot, ridden by Godolphin jockey Frankie Dettori, never factored and finished down the field in seventh place.

        Winning Post

      •  Bode Miller (L) and Morgan Miller attend 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

        Ski star Miller plans new 'voodoo'

        He's won six Olympic medals on two legs, but Bode Miller's future will ride on four -- can he replicate his skiing success in the "Sport of Kings"?
      • Flanders Mud

        Ex-jockey molds new career

        As a jockey, Philip Blacker lived for the thrills and spills of horse racing. As a sculptor, his work captures the horror of World War I.
      • Zebra Mombassa in the English countryside, 1980s.

        Queen's 'horseman' tames zebras

        Ever thought zebras couldn't be tamed? Think again. Gary Witheford has a remarkable way with wild animals -- which he proved after a pub boast.
      • The ancient art of horse taming

        The internet went wild for so-called "horse yoga" -- but there was something deeper going on that reconnects humans with the animal world.
      • Runners canter before racing during the Laytown race meeting run on the beach on September 08, 2011 in Laytown, Ireland. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

        Quick sand: A race like no other

        The going is always soft and the only permanent building is a toilet block. It's the antithesis to the pomp of Royal Ascot ... welcome to Irish beach racing.
      • The Crow Fair and Rodeo takes place in Montana each summer.

        World's largest teepee city

        Each August, over a thousand tents and hundreds of horses converge on Little Big Horn River in Montana for the Crow Fair and Rodeo.
      • Rider Jon Marc goes for victory in the Indian Relay

        America's best sporting secret?

        Little-known outside the tribes of the Rocky Mountains in the American northwest, Indian Relay is a "magical" horse-racing relay.
      • Jockey Gary Stevens looks on after a race prior to the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

        'This is middle-aged crazy'

        Now in his 50s, one of the world's most successful jockeys explains why he gave up acting to return to the sport that nearly crippled him.
      •  An infrared camera was used to create this image.) A horse and exercise rider head to the main track for morning training at Belmont Park on June 4, 2014 in Elmont, New York.

        More rare than a moonwalk

        More people have walked on the moon than have won the fabled Triple Crown of U.S. horse racing. California Chrome is seeking to square that score.