Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe: Japan's Makahiki in 'great condition' for Chantilly

Christophe Lemaire rides Makahiki
Christophe Lemaire's ride Makahiki is second favourite for Sunday's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

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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