Star British horse Cracksman headlines a list of 13 international horses invited to take up the challenge against champion Winx in the Cox Plate.
The Moonee Valley Racing Club issues invitations to some of the best-performed middle-distance horses in the world in a bid to attract them to run in the weight-for-age showpiece in October.
This year’s Cox Plate (2040m) has had a significant prize money injection from $3 million to $5 million and is expected to feature champion Winx trying to win the race for a record fourth time.
The John Gosden-trained Cracksman won the Champions Stakes at Ascot in 2017 and has returned with two Group One wins already this year in the Prix Ganay and Coronation Cup.
The horses invited are from the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Japan, France, United States and Ireland.
Champion Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has prepared the only northern hemisphere-trained winner of the Cox Plate, Adelaide in 2014, and two horses from his stable – Saxon Warrior and Mendelssohn – have been invited this year.