Last year, Hong Kong stole the $16.5 million Longines Hong Kong Vase from the visitors for the first time since 1998, but the prospect looks less likely this time around, with a list of foreign stayers headed by Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and Breeders' Cup Turf runner-up, Flintshire.

The Andre Fabre-trained Flintshire, one of two runners for Khalid Abdullah who also has UK-trained three-year-old Snow Sky in the race, carries an international rating of 124 to make him the fourth-highest rated runner ever to contest the Vase.

The 2013 winner, Dominant is nearest to him in the ratings at 119, Japanese stayer Curren Mirotic is on 116, while 2012 Vase winner and Melbourne Cup triple runner-up, Red Cadeaux (rated 115) comes back for his third tilt at the event.