HK model adopted to woo Cox Plate raiders
Hong Kong might yet mount another attempt on Australia's championship race, the WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, following changes announced last week by the Moonee Valley Racing Club.
Vengeance Of Rain, Viva Pataca and Collection have all been linked with Cox Plate attempts in the past five years, but Hong Kong's only runners remain River Verdon (1994) and Elegant Fashion (2004).
On one occasion, John Moore's plans for Viva Pataca were ruined by the equine influenza outbreak in Australia, while the other attempts have fallen by the wayside for various reasons, and cost was probably one of them.
Moonee Valley now plans to adopt the model which has made the Hong Kong International Races such a success, with foreign runners handpicked and the expenses met for those invited runners.
That change alone will ensure the race gets renewed attention from the connections of our best middle-distance horses, though there is probably one other hurdle to attack for the sake of any visitors.
Quarantine regulations are so often the deal breaker for horses visiting Australia for its springtime carnival, and not only from Hong Kong, but that means changing the views of government regulators.
That's never an easy task. At least Moonee Valley has made a good start by changing the part of the equation over which it does have control.