The Japanese steered well clear of Golden Sixty at April’s Champions Day but that will not be the case at next month’s Hong Kong International Races, with four gallopers from the Land of the Rising Sun confirmed for the Group One Hong Kong Mile.

The Japanese quartet of Danon Kingly, Indy Champ, Vin de Garde and Salios are joined by Aidan O’Brien’s Mother Earth in what shapes as the sternest test of Golden Sixty’s career so far.

The reigning Horse of the Year overcame three international raiders in the Mile 12 months ago – Admire Mars, O’Brien’s Order Of Australia and Romanised – and this year’s invading contingent boasts not only more quantity but likely more quality.

The Japanese have entered more runners in the Mile than any of the other HKIR features and all but Vin de Garde have Group One wins to their name.

Danon Kingly brings impeccable form after defeating superstar mare Gran Alegria – as well as Indy Champ and Salios – in June’s Group One Yasuda Kinen (1,600m) in Tokyo.

The five-year-old then had a spell before returning last month to run second in the Group Two Mainichi Okan (1,800m), while Indy Champ and Salios also have form around Gran Alegria after running fourth and sixth, respectively, behind the retiring champion in the weekend’s Mile Championship at Hanshin.

Loves Only You headlines Hong Kong Cup as 21 raiders descend on Sha Tin for HKIR

Vin de Garde heads to Hong Kong after finishing back in the field behind Space Blues in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar on November 6 but boasts a runner-up finish behind Lord North in the Group One Dubai Turf (1,800m) at Meydan in March.

Mother Earth, who won the Group One 1,000 Guineas (1,600m) at Newmarket in May and also saluted at the top level in the Prix Rothschild (1,600m) at Deauville in August, also comes out of the Breeders’ Cup Mile, finishing two spots ahead of Vin de Garde.

Golden Sixty will also have to overcome seven local rivals if he is to make it back-to-back Hong Kong Mile victories and extend his winning streak to 16 and within one of Silent Witness’ Hong Kong record.

John Size’s Group One winner Waikuku, as well as More Than This, Sky Darci, Champion’s Way, Healthy Happy, Excellent Proposal and Lucky Express take their place in the field of 13.

Golden Sixty sailed past Waikuku, More Than This, Sky Darci and Champion’s Way to win Sunday’s Jockey Club Mile, while Lucky Express and Excellent Proposal come out of the recent Class One Panasonic Cup (1,400m) and Healthy Happy will head into the Mile first-up since June.

Lucky Express and Excellent Proposal are also entered to run in the Class One Chevalier Cup (1,600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.