John Hawkes waited until just before the acceptance deadline before confirming valuable colt All Too Hard would start in Saturday's $3 million Cox Plate.
All Too Hard worked at Flemington early on Tuesday morning and then Hawkes looked at the colt's condition back at his stables before deciding to give the three-year-old his chance in the weight-for-age feature at Moonee Valley.
All Too Hard joins fellow three-year-olds Pierro and Proisir in the 14-horse field.
Hawkes won the Cox Plate with three-year-old Octagonal in 1995 and came close on another occasion when Viscount was a narrow third in 2001.
"The end result is that he's a colt worth a lot of money," co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said.
"He has won the race (the Caulfield Guineas) that John Hawkes wanted to win with him and John Hawkes has got a pretty good record with three-year-olds in the Cox Plate.
"He nearly did it with Viscount and he did it with Octagonal.
"He actually knows what it takes to win the race with a three-year-old."
Wayne Hawkes said the colt's work at Flemington was pleasing.
"He worked great this morning, he always works great," Hawkes said.
"He's a really flash trackworker. He didn't work any better or worse than two weeks ago but you're just trying to cover all bases and cross off everything one step after the other."