Chrono Genesis will carry the hopes of Japan as she attempts to bring the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe title back to the nation for the first time ever.
The five-year-old is prolific on her home turf, claiming six graded races from 13 runs including the Grade One Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin last time out.
Prior to that the mare was tested overseas for the first time in March, taking on the Dubai Sheema Classic and finishing second to Mishriff by only a neck after being bumped by the third-placed horse a furlong from home.
In Paris Chrono Genesis will again cross paths with rivals from across the globe, with trainer Takashi Saito choosing Oisin Murphy to take the ride on Sunday.
The grey arrived in Paris last week after travelling from the training centre in Ritto from which she is based and has been ridden by Murphy in her preparational work ahead of the race.
“This (Wednesday) morning she was working under Oisin Murphy and appears very quiet and settled in,” Saito said via an interpreter.
“The main part of the preparation has been done in Japan, I find her in very good condition.
“This morning the jockey did exactly what I asked him to do, which was not to force her to go too fast.
“She had very fluid action, I’m not concerned about anything. I haven’t had the opportunity to weigh her, but she looks like she’s in the condition she was in when she was running in Japan.”
Chrono Genesis has been off the track since June 27, the date of her Grade One win at Hanshin, but Kaito does not expect the break to pose any problems come the weekend.
“This is her rhythm, she runs usually every two months,” he said.
“The end of June, which was her last race, until now is three months, which she is used to. It is not a worry that she hasn’t run since because she actually needs that time in between races.
“She had won the Group One race in December already and that was the point when we started to think about the Arc, we chose Dubai to give her some experience to see how she could run after having travelled and also to prepare for the trip to Paris.”
Much of Chrono Genesis’ form comes on good or firm ground, something she is unlikely to encounter this weekend, if forecasts prove correct.
Saito does not expect this to weaken her chances, however, as he feels his mare has the ability to perform even on soft ground.
“I’m not particularly worried about it,” he said.
“It’s an eternal debate about Japanese horses in the Arc and if the ground has something to do with it. Chrono Genesis adapts herself to all different ground. She’s very brave and courageous so I’m not worried about the ground.”
The Japanese mission to lift the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe trophy has fallen just short on several occasions, most recently with Orfevre (2012 and 2013) and Nakayama Festa’s (2010) second-placed efforts, but Saito is confident he has brought his challenger over to France in the best possible condition.
“I know that the opposition is going to be very strong, but for me the most important thing is that I prepare the mare so that she is 100 per cent in form on that day, the rest is up to Oisin,” he said.
“He is the one who has to take her through the race.
“I’m very honoured that she is considered a chance in the Arc, that is a great honour for me. I insist that my work is to get her 100 per cent in form at the Arc, if she could win the Arc I would obviously be very, very happy.”