Romantic Warrior Looks To Cap Fairy Tale Season In Yasuda Kinen

Romantic Warrior | Horsephotos/Tomoya Moriuchi


Peter Lau's Hong Kong raider Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) can put the wraps on one of the most remarkable seasons in recent memory should he be able to take out Sunday's G1 Yasuda Kinen Sunday afternoon at Tokyo Racecourse. The one-turn, 1600-metre contest serves as a 'Win and You're In' qualifier for the GI Breeders' Cup Mile at California's Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in early November.

Nails-tough in dropping his nose down on the wire first when second-up in the G1 W S Cox Plate in late October, the 6-year-old returned to Hong Kong to successfully defend his title in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup six weeks later. His two most recent appearances are emblematic of his will to win, as he narrowly outfought fellow BMW Hong Kong Derby winner Voyage Bubble (Aus) (Deep Field {Aus}) in the G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) in February and overcame a wide journey and wet underfoot conditions he clearly detested to become a three-time winner of the G1 FWD QE II Cup when last seen Apr. 28.

Romantic Warrior landed barrier seven at Friday's draw, much to the delight of trainer Danny Shum. James McDonald has a return call.

“We're happy with seven and the owner is also lucky with seven,” Shum said. “It should be easier for James [McDonald] to hold a position from there–very happy.

“You can see he is happy from his eyes, from his appetite and how he responds to you. I'm very close to him and I can tell he's very happy.”

Voyage Bubble, a latest third in the G1 FWD Champions Mile and winner earlier in the season of the G1 Stewards' Cup over this trip, is drawn in 15 with champion Zac Purton at the controls.




Carrot Farm's Namur (Jpn) (Harbinger {GB}) has shown she can more than hold her own against the boys, having upset last year's G1 Mile Championship S. ahead of a third to Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) in the G1 Longines Hong Kong. A cracking second to Facteur Cheval (Jpn) (Ribchester {Ire}) in the G1 Dubai Turf (1800m) Mar. 30, she lost all chance at the start of the sex-restricted G1 Victoria Mile over this course and distance May 12, but closed off well to be eighth, but beaten just three lengths.

Gaia Force (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) was an outstanding fourth to Songline (Jpn) (Kizuna {Jpn}) in last year's Yasuda Kinen and tries a grassy mile for the first time since on Sunday. The likeable gray entire, to break from gate two, makes his first start since finishing runner-up in the G1 February S. going 1600 metres on the adjacent dirt surface Feb. 18.

The veteran Soul Rush (Jpn) (Rulership {Jpn}) was just beaten on the line in the Mile Championship and also acquitted himself well in the Hong Kong Mile, finishing fourth. Spelled thereafter, he resumed with a smart defeat of the re-opposing Serifos (Jpn) (Daiwa Major {Jpn}) in the G2 Yomiuri Milers Cup at Kyoto Apr. 21, his second win there in the last three years.

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