Romantic Warrior To Skip Stewards' Cup, HK Gold Cup Next

Romantic Warrior (rail) | HKJC

Romantic Warrior (GB) (Acclamation {GB}) , who successfully defended his title in a thrilling renewal of the G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin Dec. 10, will be given a short break before building back up in time for an appearance in the G1 City Hong Kong Gold Cup Feb. 25. The not-unexpected decision means the 5-year-old will sidestep a clash with Longines Hong Kong Mile winner and three-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) in the G1 Stewards' Cup over 1600 metres Jan. 21.

Romantic Warrior's nose defeat of a never-say-die Luxembourg (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) came just 43 days after his landmark victory in the G1 W. S. Cox Plate in Melbourne, and trainer Danny Shum is focused on not squeezing the lemon dry.

“He looks great, but I feel he will be a little bit tired because it was a hard run, both two races were very hard. He'll have a short break now,” Shum said. “He'll have enough time to recover if we go to the Gold Cup next–2000 metres is his trip, I think that's a better idea. He's easy to train but he won both of those two races with his fighting heart, he uses a lot of energy. I have to look after him because he uses himself a lot, it's better to give him a bit of a break and go again.”

Romantic Warrior has six wins from seven starts over the Sha Tin 2000 metres, his lone blemish coming when beaten by Golden Sixty in last year's Gold Cup. With earnings of nearly HK$120 million, Romantic Warrior is just the third horse to surpass HK$100 million, along with Golden Sixty and Beauty Generation (NZ) (Road to Rock {Aus}).

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