No horse has ever defended a win in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup, but Vision D'Etat gets a second to none chance to be the first this year in a race largely dominated by French-trained runners. Four French-trained horses are set to contest the Cup, with three of them among the top-four rated runners, and five-year-old Vision D'Etat is to make his swansong in the race he won last year. The Eric Libaud-trained stallion has raced only three times since last December, failing at Dubai in March, when he was reported to have jarred up, then he returned to racing in September with a win at Deauville before a last-start second at Newmarket in the Champion Stakes last month, a race that has been a significant pointer to the Cup previously. If the visitors are to prevail in the race and La Marsellaise is not to be heard after it, then Ed Dunlop's dual Oaks-winning filly Snow Fairy looks the one to foil the French. Dunlop won the Vase several years ago with his great filly Ouija Board and in Snow Fairy, he has the makings of a successor to her. The winner of the Epsom Oaks and Irish Oaks shares the top billing for the Cup on a 124 rating with Stacelita, both rating higher than Vision D'Etat once the female allowance is considered. Snow Fairy will come to Sha Tin on the back of the easiest of Group One victories at Kyoto just 11 days ago, when she trounced her own sex in the Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup, and that is a similar path to the one Dunlop took with Ouija Board, who had been fifth in the Japan Cup on the way to the 2005 Vase. French filly Stacelita has assembled a great record of eight wins from 12 starts, though she is just as well known for her controversial protest win in the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp in September last year as her four Group One victories. Stacelita finished second to her stablemate, Lily Of the Valley, as a warm favourite last time in the Group One Prix de l'Opera over the Arc weekend in Paris. One of the more interesting runners will be the Elie Lellouche-trained three-year-old Planteur, with a record of eight starts for three wins and four seconds, and he is a horse John Moore tried to buy as a Derby prospect this season. Lellouche has been a regular visitor in December, a winner of two Hong Kong Vases, and Planteur's only time out of the first two placings in France was last start in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, when he was disqualified for causing interference to another runner. The race worth the highest prize money of the four international races on December 12 has, paradoxically, attracted the fewest international Group One winners. Only Vision D'Etat, Stacelita, Snow Fairy and Reggane have been successful at that level, though the figures are muddied by the presence of three local horses with domestic Group One-winning performances. Hong Kong's challenge will be headed by the John Moore-trained duo of Irian and last year's Cup runner-up Collection, the 2010 Derby winner and runner-up, Super Satin and Super Pistachio, and Packing Winner, who chased home Irian last time In the Jockey Club Cup.