Leading Hong Kong trainer John Moore is waiting on the final green light from the owner of Xtension before confirming 2012 Cox Plate plans for the talented five-year-old.
Xtension was one of 10 international horses issued invitations by the Moonee Valley Racing Club and while Moore initially accepted, he is still waiting on the all-clear from owner Steven Lo.
“I’ve spoken about the trip with Xtension’s owner Steven Lo and he seemed fairly positive about the idea,” Moore said.
A son of British horse Xaar, Xtension is rated as one of the best middle-distance runners in Hong Kong.
Despite having won just four times from 21 starts, the five-year-old has placed nine times and has produced back-to-back victories in the Group 1 Champions Mile at Sha Tin.
Xtension has been in excellent form this year, placing three times at Group 1 level in addition to his Champions Mile victory.
Of the ten horses selected for Cox Plate invites, Xtension is the closest to confirming so far with Japanese five-year-old Rulership also believed to be a strong chance.
The target horse to bring to Melbourne for the Australasian weight-for-age championship was French gelding Cirrus Des Agiles but that is unlikely as it would mean he would have to bypass the Arc de Triomphe in France.
This year’s Cox Plate is being touted as one of the most exciting in years, with whoever arrives of the international contingent set to take on some local superstars.
Unbeaten youngsters Atlantic Jewel is believed to be aiming at the $3 million glamour event as is Gai Waterhouse-trained mare More Joyous.
The 2012 Cox Plate will take place on Saturday October 27.
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