Xtension 2012 Cox Plate Bound

Hong Kong star Xtension will travel to Australia this spring for a tilt at the prestigious Group 1 2012 Cox Plate (2040m).

The Irish-bred five-year-old was one of ten international horses who were earlier this month issued invitations by Racing Victoria to compete in the Australian weight-for-age championship.

Trainer John Moore has confirmed to Racing Victoria the $3 million event stands as the major spring target for the talented son of Xaar.

Earlier this year, Xtension recorded a second consecutive victory in the Group 1 Champions Mile at Sha Tin.

The five-year-old is yet to win over the Cox Plate 2000-metre distance but produced consecutive runner-up finishes to Ambitious Dragon in the Group 1 Stewards’ Cup and the Hong Kong Gold Cup.

Connections of Japanese horse Rulership are believed to be strongly considering a Cox Plate campaign after the five-year-old won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin in April.

The Cox Plate could also be on the agenda for Danehill Dancer five-year-old Planteur who finished third in March’s Dubai World Cup.

French star Cirrus Des Aigles is believed to be the number one target for Racing Victoria but trainer Corine Barande-Barbe has expressed concerns about quarantine.

The six-year-old is a three-time Group 1 winner and defeated former Australian star So You Think in the Champion Stakes at Royal Ascot in October.

Superstar Australian three-year-old Atlantic Jewel currently heads the early Cox Plate betting markets at $3.20 while glamour mare More Joyous is next best at $6.00.

Gai Waterhouse-trained More Joyous was one of the stars of the Sydney Autumn Carnival, winning all four starts including the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes, Doncaster Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

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