The Moonee Valley Racing Club has released their international invitation list for the 2014 Cox Plate that will be held on October 25 during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Leading Hong Kong trainer John Moore has had three horses invited to contest the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m); with Dan Excel, Designs On Rome and Military Attack all included in the invitation list.
Moore revealed last month that he was set to bring Singapore International Cup winner Dan Excel to Australia for the Group 1 event, but he is yet to reveal his plans with three-time Group 1 winner Designs On Rome and Hong Kong Gold Cup winner Military Attack.
Japanese superstar Just A Way, who is currently the highest ranked horse in the world, has been invited to contest the Cox Plate, but the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2040m) is a more likely option for the Heart’s Cry entire.
Another Cox Plate invitee likely to remain in Europe rather than head to Australia is Tattersalls Gold Cup winner Noble Mission, who is a full brother to equine superstar Frankel, while evergreen French champion Cirrus Des Aigles is another that is not expected to make the trip to Australia.
Godolphin has previously had a runner in the Cox Plate, with Grandera finishing third behind Northerly in 2002, and this year they have had Dubai World Cup winner African Story invited to contest the Australasian Weight-For-Age Champion and he was joined on the list by Dubai World Cup runner-up Mukhadram.
One Internationally-trained galloper that is expected to make the trip to Australia for the Cox Plate is Smoking Sun, who stamped himself as a horse to watch on the global level with a fourth place finish behind Cirrus Des Aigles and Treve in the Group 1 Prix Ganay (2100m) and a second place finish behind Dan Excel in the Singapore International Cup.
Rounding out the Cox Plate international invitation list is Jim Bolger-trained Trading Leather, who has failed to kick on as expected after winning the Group 1 Irish Derby (2414m) in Curragh last year.
Mackinnon Stakes winner Side Glance and Mull Of Killough contested the 2013 edition of the Cox Plate and Moonee Valley Racing Club Chairman Bob Scarborough is hoping that the Cox Plate will continue to have an international presence during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“The international racing landscape is forever changing and we are now seeing a large contingent of horses not only travelling overseas, but winning international group races,” Scarborough said.
“I am hopeful that the connections of the best weight-for-age horses in the world will accept our invitation to travel to Melbourne to contest the weight-for-age championship of the southern hemisphere and attempt to become the first international horse to claim the crown.”
Gai Waterhouse-trained Carlton House ($9) is currently on top of 2014 Cox Plate betting markets from quality mare Silent Achiever ($10), Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls ($11), Chris Waller-trained Royal Descent ($13) and last year’s runner-up Happy Trails ($15).