David Morgan

Chief Journalist


Injury scare sets Romantic Warrior a rare task

Hong Kong’s bright new hope was put on the easy list earlier this month but is back in work.

Romantic Warrior will not be seen in action until the G2 Jockey Club Mile at Sha Tin in mid-November after an injury scare three weeks ago forced trainer Danny Shum to ease back on the star four-year-old’s preparations.

That timeline will mean a one-race lead-in to December’s Hong Kong International Races for the Hong Kong Derby hero. Golden Sixty succeeded via that approach into last year’s G1 Hong Kong Mile but Romantic Warrior’s prime target is the G1 Hong Kong Cup over 2000 metres, for which a three or four-race build-up is the usual way.

No Hong Kong-trained horse has won the Cup second-up since Motivation in 1993, back in the days when it was an 1800-metre test and six years before it attained Group 1 status.

Romantic Warrior was found to be lame after trackwork on August 10 and did nothing more than swim and walk until returning to light work in the trotting ring on Monday.  


Trainer Danny Shum and jockey Karis Teetan celebrate Romantic Warrior's Queen Elizabeth II Cup victory. (Photo by Lo Chun Kit/Getty Images)

“He’s back in work now,” Shum told the Report. “He came back sore after cantering one morning, so we examined him and thought there was a possible suspensory issue. But Dr Lawrence (Chan) checked him over and x-rayed him and couldn’t find anything.

“It looks like he just twisted himself a little bit, so the advice was to give him three weeks off, just swimming, hand-walking, on the walking machine; so, we did that and he was sound. The vet checked him again and said he’s fine, there’s nothing wrong. We just played it safe and gave him that rest and now we will look forward to December.

“He’ll run his first race in November, the same as Golden Sixty did last year,” Shum added. “We want to just give him that extra time.”  

Romantic Warrior landed the Classic Mile last season before going on to become the first horse in eight years to follow a Hong Kong Derby win with victory in the G1 QEII Cup, both at 2000 metres.



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