HORSE of the Year, Makarpura Star, is bucking and kicking his way to taking on some of the best horses in Australia in Saturday's Mackinnon Stakes at Flemington. The five-year-old has never been better, according to trainer John Moore who had toyed with the idea of re-routing Makarpura Star to a race the following weekend once it emerged that the brilliant Danewin and Cox Plate winner, Octagonal, are likely to be in the Mackinnon Stakes lineup. 'I've just spoken to my wife who has just been over at Johnny Meagher's yard weighing him and she says he looks fantastic. He was bucking and kicking his way to the yard and back,' said Moore. 'All the weight he's put on is muscle and we're going on with the plan to run in the Mackinnon because we need to get him back on a plane on the Monday night so that we have time to prepare him for the International Cup. 'Usually you don't have to take on the likes of Danewin and Octagonal in the Mackinnon Stakes and the race is looking much harder than usual. 'But if he could run into a place it would be fantastic. There is no point staying down there for another week. With the three weeks he then has to spend in quarantine up here, it wouldn't allow me enough time to get him ready to represent Hong Kong in the Cup.' There was good news yesterday for the local owners of Danewin who is now a confirmed starter in the Japan Cup on November 26. The multiple Group One winner, owned in partnership by businessmen Sunny Yam and Alex Cheung, will represent Australia where he is trained. There will be no decision on who rides Danewin - Jackie C. K. Tse or Damien Oliver - until after the son of Danehill has run in the Mackinnon Stakes. Yam said yesterday: 'We're all delighted. This is great news as getting an invitation was no certainty.' Pressed on who would ride Danewin, Yam, who was publicly slated by his former jockey Shane Dye after last Saturday's Cox Plate, smiled: 'I would love to offer the ride to Shane, but he seems to have lost his sportsmanship. 'That brings the shortlist down to Damien Oliver or Jackie Tse. The appropriate thing is to make an announcement after the Mackinnon Stakes.' Jeune, trained by the now Hong Kong-based David Hayes to win last year's Melbourne Cup, is the other Australian runner in one of the world's most celebrated 2,400-metre events. Hayes won the Japan Cup in 1990 with Better Loosen Up and Jeune, Australia's Horse of the Year, is now in training with his brother, Peter Hayes. Meanwhile, Patrick Biancone continues to be mystified by the run of his boom galloper Deauville in Saturday's Panasonic Cup. The four-time winner dropped out to finish a tame last to Privilege and Biancone commented yesterday: 'We've checked everything we possibly can and everything seems to be okay - except the result of the race. My explanation is that I don't have an explanation. He's come back sound. I hope it was just an off day.'