EXCITING stayer Swept Away faces his toughest assignment and a true test of his class when he tackles the $1.25 million Centenary Vase at the Lunar New Year meeting at Sha Tin today. Swept Away simply demolished a field of handy performers last time, handing out a crushing defeat to Wonderful World, who re-opposes today, but that one was over a lesser trip than today's 2,230 metres. There are very strong grounds, though, for believing that the step up to this extended trip is absolutely right for Swept Away who does have the stamp of a quality horse. With Patrick Biancone and stable jockey Gerald Mosse in unstoppable form, Swept Away will have very considerable public support as he seeks to establish himself as a front-line stayer with claims on all major distance events. Biancone is a huge fan of the horse although Swept Away is no gentleman. ''No, he has a mind of his own and he does only what he wants to do but, fortunately for us all, he does like to race. ''He can be a very stubborn in the mornings and it does not matter what you do, he will just dig his toes in. If he did not have the ability that he possesses he would probably have been finished. ''He certainly does not seem to have any respect - for man or horse. But he does everything that is required when it is required on the race track and I love him for that,'' enthused Biancone. Mosse is riding with the total confidence, flair and masterful timing that made him one of Europe's top jockeys and he can be relied upon to see that Swept Away gets every conceivable chance in this domestic Group Three event. The manner in which Swept Away quickened to zoom past Wonderful World and leave the rest floundering at his last start spoke volumes for his ability. It takes a good horse to do that and Swept Away did it with zest - and merciless efficiency. But there are other claimants for the Vase and Swept Away is facing his most crucial test to date. Champion trainer John Moore, his title under immense threat from Biancone, starts topweight Motivation and Victory And Glory. Motivation must lump 140 pounds, which is clearly an obstacle, but Moore has this fellow aimed for the International Cup - a place he had almost claimed before the original race was scrapped due to the December virus. On his reappearance after the break, Motivation ran a blinder of a race behind tearaway winner Right Way. But if any horse was going to come out of that run the better for it, it was undoubtedly going to be the Moore galloper. Moore knows full well that the horse is better over a trip longer than the 1,600 metres he went over last time and he will be very well suited by today's journey. Despite the weight - he is giving away lumps all round - he must be a major win and quinella chance. Irish champion Mick Kinane, a man very much in the news at the moment, is re-united with Fortune Leader which is blinkered for the first time. Fortune Leader most definitely needs ground and would probably be better off over even longer than this but he must also be included. Kinane rode him last February during his one-month stint but the horse tended to plod on for third. He said: ''I know the horse very well from Ireland and having ridden him here. There is a staying race in him and with the blinkers on, to keep his mind concentrated, he would have to be a chance in this.'' Fortune Leader is one of those frustrating horses who tends to run on at the end of most of his races, thereby getting the unwary involved next time - when he does much the same. But he does seem to get a realistic chance to do something ultra positive here and is a strong quinella and tierce chance. Frankly, there does not seem to be a lot to be said for the rest although Starlight will prove an interesting ride for Irish claimer Wayne Smith. Dermot Weld's apprentice scored a significant win on Golden Luck in the opener on Wednesday night and will not lack confidence going into today's feature event. But Starlight is one horse who must be ridden inch-perfectly if he is to be meaningfully involved. Former rider Philip Robinson had it down to a tee, dropping him right out, waiting and waiting - and then unleashing the powerful, reasonably enduring finishing burst that the horse possesses. It will be a test of Smith's ability and character if he can play the waiting game here - and it should also be noted that Starlight is getting no younger. Fortune Duke will carry a paperweight but apprentice K. W. Lee does not inspire as a lad who will be able to do what is necessary over 2,220 metres in a high grade field. Conticasta has run up to some very good horses in his time and the distance suits. He would be conceded a modest each-way chance at best.