Romantic Warrior Shoots For Six Straight In Classic Cup

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Romantic Warrior | HKJC photo

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European-sourced Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) has answered every question that has been asked of him in his five racetrack appearances to date and will look to keep the ball rolling as the horse to beat in Sunday's HK$12-million Hong Kong Classic Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse.

A 300,000gns purchase by the Hong Kong Jockey Club at Tattersalls October in 2019 and later re-sold for HK$4.8 million at the unique Hong Kong International Sale, Romantic Warrior annexed his first three starts, each over six furlongs, and proved easily best when trying 1400 metres for the first time Jan. 16. The third choice for the Hong Kong Classic Mile a fortnight later, the bay worked out a good trip with Karis Teetan aboard for the first time and ran past long-time leader California Spangle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) for a half-length tally. He'll need to negotiate another 200 metres this time, but he has the full confidence of his jockey.

“Of course, it is in the back of our minds that he is stepping up in distance again but he's a progressive horse–I galloped him on Saturday [19 February] and he went really well, he is in good shape and I think the distance will be ok, because he can relax and he has a nice turn of foot,” the Mauritian said.

California Spangle was tasting defeat for just the second time in the Classic Mile, just failing to last after setting a decent pace. Matthew Chadwick was in the irons on the final Sunday of January, but Zac Purton–who is back on top of the jockeys' premiership–takes over this time around for trainer Tony Cruz.

The Irishman (NZ) (Tavistock {NZ}) tracked Romantic Warrior through in the Classic Mile and stayed on well enough to be third, with longshot Turin Redstar (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) a further 1 3/4 lengths back in fourth. Twice placed at group level in Australia, the bay is bred on the cross over Zabeel (NZ) responsible for former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther (NZ) and should have no queries where it comes to this trip and beyond.

Senor Toba (Aus) (Toronado {Ire}) has acquitted himself nicely in the deep Class 2 waters locally, having finished third going a mile on International Day Dec. 12 before scoring over the Derby distance of 2000 metres Dec. 27. He was scratched lame out of an intended start Feb. 3, but whatever he does here should bring him on for the BMW Hong Kong Derby in a month's time.

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