The Four-Year-Old Classic Series plays a vital role in the rejuvenation of Hong Kong’s talent pool and this Sunday (24 April) at Sha Tin Romantic Warrior is out to ratify his hype when he lines up in the HK$25 million G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin.
Victorious last out in the HK$24 million BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m), Romantic Warrior has soared to stardom with six wins from seven starts and HK$24.81 million in earnings but, nevertheless, this weekend’s acid test will paint a clearer picture as to where the bay and this season’s four-year-old crop currently sit in the pecking order among Hong Kong’s elite.
Trainer Danny Shum acknowledges the assignment Romantic Warrior faces against an assortment of the circuit’s best middle-distance performers.
“Stepping up to open age (and at Group 1 level) will be a big challenge for him, because he won the Derby and it was only against four-year-olds. Now, he’s against Russian Emperor who is very good over 2000 metres, so it’s a big challenge for him,” Shum said.
The Acclamation gelding breezed through a turf gallop on Tuesday (19 April) at Sha Tin under his work rider in 1m 21.7s (26.9, 29.2, 25.6) alongside stablemate and competitor on Sunday – Tourbillon Diamond.
“He galloped well, he’s happy, he’s healthy and he pulled up sound, scoped clean – everything is ok,” said Shum of the HK$4.8 million purchase out of the 2021 Hong Kong International Sale.