Jockey Christophe Lemaire believes Makahiki can deliver a "special" victory and become the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe's first Japanese winner.
Makahiki is second favourite for Sunday's race (15:05 BST) in Chantilly, France, having won the Japanese Derby in May and the Prix Niel last month.
Japanese horses have finished second on four occasions at the Arc - the most recent being Orfevre in 2012 and 2013.
"It's a big challenge, but my horse is in great condition," Lemaire, 37, said.
The Frenchman added: "I have a good story with Japan, so for me to win on a Japanese horse would be something special.
"The Arc is always a tough race to win but we have a very good chance. He's a top-class horse in Japan and won the Prix Niel when he was not 100% fit."
The prestigious flat race has a 16-strong field led by the favourite Postponed, ridden by 25-year-old Italian Andrea Atzeni. The pair are unbeaten in their last six races.
Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien has three horses in the line-up, with Frankie Dettori saddling Order of St George, Ryan Moore riding Found and Seamie Heffernan on Highland Reel.
New Bay, trained by the seven-time Arc winner Andre Fabre, is another strong contender alongside Epsom and Irish Derby champion Harzand.
The Arc is a mile-and-a-half long race, which this year is worth five million euros (£4.33m).
It is being staged this year and next at Chantilly while regular home Longchamp is being redeveloped.
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