Top European stayer Flintshire is among the first names locked in for the Hong Kong international races, confirmed for a tilt at the HK$16.5m Longines Hong Kong Vase (2,400m).
Raced by Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte operation, Flintshire has not won since last year's Grand Prix de Paris but is coming off seconds behind Treve in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and Main Sequence in the Breeders' Cup Turf.
In the latest rankings released last week, he is the equal ninth highest rated horse in the world.
Juddmonte have never won any of the four December internationals, but have finished second on three occasions - in the 2009 Vase with Spanish Moon, the same race a year later with Redwood, and the 2011 Mile with Cityscape.
The four-year-old will be ridden by Maxime Guyon, who begins another Hong Kong contract on January 1.
Breeders' Cup Turf winner Main Sequence will not make the trip, with his owners - the Niarchos family - instead hoping for a Cup or Vase invite for Singapore International Cup runner-up Smoking Sun.
The provisional fields for the international races are scheduled to be released next week but, while there is usually an indication of who will come by this stage, chatter this year has been muted.
Singapore's rising star Spalato (Sprint) and Japanese mare Hana's Goal (Mile) are already here and will run this weekend in the respective international trials.
Other horses scheduled to be here for the international meeting include Ronald Arculli’s 2012 Hong Kong Vase winner Red Cadeaux, who will attempt to win the race again following his third second placing in the Melbourne Cup.
Japan's Sprinters Stakes winner Snow Dragon is a confirmed visitor for the Hong Kong Sprint, along with Australia's multiple Group One winner Buffering.
Warhorse Cirrus des Aigles will step out for the fifth time on international day if he takes his place in the Hong Kong Cup as anticipated and Australian Derby winner Criterion and Mackinnon Stakes third Farraaj are also expected to run in that race.