Trainer Toru Kurita believes Titleholder (8/1 to win Arc) has a great chance of becoming the first Japanese horse to win the legendary Prix du l’Arc du Triomphe at Paris Longchamp on Sunday.

No horse from the Far East country has ever won the race, though they are improving as a racing nation with wins in the USA and Middle East.

On three occasions, a horse from Japan has finished as runner up, the last occasion being in 2013 with Orferve.

Kurita came close to securing victory in 2006 but Deep Impact finished third before being disqualified.

Four contenders from Japan are lining up to win the Arc which is highly regarded as the most prestigious race in the world between one-and-a-half and two miles.

Titleholder is the leading contender currently and arrives in France on the back of some excellent form in his homeland.

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The four-year-old has won each of his last three races including two Grade One events at Hanshin.

This will be the first time he has ever raced outside of his home nation but Kurita is confident he can break the Japanese duck, despite what the ground conditions may be.

“It would be good if this were the moment to win the race. But the most important part of our work is to bring Titleholder to top form for Arc day,” said Kurita.

“There is the question of the ground, but the quality of Japanese horses has improved, so with the four runners this year we will see how well they can do,” he added. “We will not know until the day.

“I will make sure he is at 100 per cent to give the best possible performance.”

Last year’s surprise winner Torquator Tasso (7/1) is aiming for back-to-back wins while the current ante-post favourite is Luxembourg (7/2F) who won the Irish Champions Stakes at Leopardstown.

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