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Ad Romantic Warrior gets a hug from jockey Karis Teetan after his victory in the 2022 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin. (Lo Chun Kit /Getty Images)

Hong Kong star Romantic Warrior headed for Flemington

17 July 2023 Written by Ryan Kellam

Flemington will get an early look at the international talent heading to Melbourne this spring with the Hong Kong champion, Romantic Warrior set to kick off his campaign on October 7.

Connections of the world’s seventh highest-rated horse Romantic Warrior have identified the Group 1 TAB Turnbull Stakes (2000m) as the first stop on their Melbourne campaign.

Speaking from the season finale race day in Hong Kong on Sunday, trainer Danny Shum is looking forward to showing off Romantic Warrior’s immense talent.

“Our plan is to run Romantic Warrior in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington. At this stage, the horse will leave Hong Kong in mid-September for Australia and we are excited to be taking part in the Melbourne spring carnival.

“Flemington is regarded as being one of the great racecourses in the world and I look forward to watching Romantic Warrior race at such a famous track.” - Danny Shum

Romantic Warrior will be Shum’s first horse to travel to Australia. He has tasted international success at Royal Ascot in the 2012 Group 1 King’s Stands Stakes (1000m) with Little Bridge, for record-breaking jockey Zac Purton.

Romantic Warrior is coming off an almost faultless season in his home country winning the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup and the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Cup.

The Hong Kong trainer is well aware of the rich history of Flemington and is excited to compete down under.

“Flemington is regarded as being one of the great racecourses in the world and I look forward to watching Romantic Warrior race at such a famous track.”

Jockey James McDonald and trainer Danny Shum celebrate after Romantic Warrior won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup for the second year running. (Lo Chun Kit /Getty Images)

James McDonald will be looking to continue his unbeaten run on the horse, having been booked to ride him in the Turnbull Stakes.

“His performance for James McDonald in the Turnbull Stakes is vital for hopefully paving the way for a strong performance in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.” Shum stated.

The Group 1 TAB Turnbull Stakes will be run at Flemington on Saturday 7 October. The race has been a proven pathway for success in the Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate with Winx winning the 2017 and 2018 editions.


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