Next week’s Royal Ascot performances will provide a tremendous guide for some of the international horses the Moonee Valley Racing Club have invited to run in the 2015 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October.
Leading Hong Kong trainer John Moore has his stable star Able Friend lining up in the Group 1 £375,000 The Queen Anne Stakes (1 mile) at Royal Ascot on June 16.
Also running in the Queen Anne Stakes is the French Group 1 winner Solow, the current favourite, and English gallopers Toormore and Night Of Thunder.
All four have been invited to run in the Cox Plate and MVRC Chief Executive, Michael Browell is hoping their connections can be lured to Melbourne with the offer of all travelling expenses being subsidised.
The Cox Plate was well and truly rated on the international stage last year when the super Irish galloper Adelaide scored a stunning win for champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien and England’s top jockey Ryan Moore and Browell is very keen to keep it in the international forum.
“The Moonee Valley team has evaluated the international form over the past 12 months and we have agreed on the 12 leading contenders that we believe could win the 2015 Cox Plate,” Browell told racing.com.
“The club will continue to monitor the major international Group 1 races over the coming months for other potential invitees.”
Able Friend is one of four Hong Kong trained gallopers among the twelve international invitees which also include stablemate Dan Excel as well as multiple Group 1 winners Military Attack and Blazing Speed.
While the Richard Hannon trained Toormore and Night Of Thunder are lining up in the Queen Anne Stakes, fellow English trained The Grey Gatsby is likely to go around in the Group 1 £525,000 The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (1 mile, 2 furlongs) at Royal Ascot the second day of the five day Royal Ascot Carnival.
The Dermot Weld trained Irish galloper Free Eagle heads the market order for The Prince Of Wales’s Stakes with the French galloper Gailo Chop also in the field.
Also among the international invitees are the well performed Japanese horses Staphanos and Tosen Stardom.
The full list of international horses invited for the 2015 Cox Plate: Able Friend – John Moore (Hong Kong), Blazing Speed – Tony Cruz (Hong Kong), Dan Excel – John Moore (Hong Kong), Free Eagle – Dermot Weld (Ireland), Gailo Chop – Antoine De Watigrant (France), Military Attack – Caspar Fownes (Hong Kong), Night Of Thunder – Richard Hannon (Great Britain), Solow – Freddy Head (France), Staphanos – Hideaki Fujiwara (Japan), The Grey Gatsby – Kevin Ryan (Great Britain), Toormore – Richard Hannon (Great Britain), Tosen Stardom – Yasutoshi Ikee (Japan).