That result 12 months ago prompted Orfèvre's team to put everything into getting the horse to October in peak condition for this year's edition at Longchamp.
The 2011 Horse of the Year is being trained by Yasutoshi Ikee at Northern Farm Shigaraki, where he is preparing for his first gallop in his next outing in the Sankei Osaka Hai (Group 2) on March31.
“It is doing him a great deal of good having such a long rest since the Japan Cup (when he finished second behind Gentildonna)," Ikee said.
"We’re pushing him harder and harder in training, and he’s responding admirably to the workload.”
After the Sankei Osaka Hai, Orfèvre could race in April’s Tenno Sho Spring (Group 1) in Kyoto before competing in the Takarazuka Kinen (Group 1) in late June.
In the meantime, his favourite jockey, Kenichi Ikezoe, will travel to France to get his bearings at Longchamp.
Owner Teruya Yoshida and Ikee made the decision to entrust the horse to a Japanese jockey, despite last year's experience with Christophe Soumillon proving largely successful.