Romantic Warrior’s Cox Plate victory at Moonee Valley was the first major in Australia for a Hong Kong horse, but the champ is back at Sha Tin and the focus now falls on the Hong Kong Cup.

Danny Shum is a pragmatic man and the trainer has already moved on from last Saturday’s historic G1 Cox Plate win as he looks ahead to Romantic Warrior’s next race, the G1 Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin on December 10.

Heat of the moment post-race talk of a possible run in the G2 Jockey Club Cup in three weeks’ time always seemed unlikely, and, back in the plain surrounds of his home stables, Shum confirmed it would be straight to the Cup for Hong Kong’s horse of the moment.

“He will do one or two barrier trials before he goes to the race in December,” he said.

Shum made a swift return to Hong Kong after his Moonee Valley victory and was at the races at Happy Valley on Sunday to oversee his four runners there. The experienced trainer, who won the G1 King’s Stand at Royal Ascot with Little Bridge in 2012, is not allowing himself to dwell on his great day in Australia.

Shum is currently vying for the lead in the Hong Kong trainer premiership, level-pegging at the top with Frankie Lor on 13 wins: he has 61 horses in his stable, including the usual raft of young gallopers that at this stage of the season are being prepared to step out in the hope that perhaps one might emulate Romantic Warrior and emerge as a Hong Kong Derby prospect.

“I must look forward now,” Shum said. “I have a lot of things on my table and now I have to focus on the horses here in Hong Kong; I had 14 of my horses trialled (Tuesday) morning, so I have a lot of work to do here and lots to focus on, so I’m looking ahead now.”

Danny Shum after winning the Cox Plate. (Photo by Asian Racing Report)

Romantic Warrior arrived back in Hong Kong in the early hours of Tuesday morning and Shum confirmed: “Everything is ok with him after the flight.”

But the trainer is eager to have the star back in his own stable after he has completed his two weeks in Sha Tin’s quarantine facility.

“I love the horse,” Shum said. “He’s a very quiet horse, he’s a very good horse in the way he is, he’s a professional horse and we can see that in the stable and in his races. I’m very happy that he could win the Cox Plate, I don’t know how to explain it, I’m just very happy. I know it’s all real, but I can’t describe the feeling.

“But the Cox Plate is behind,” he added, “I have the happiness in my memory and now it’s time to look forward.”

And Shum’s great hope is that ahead of him in December is another great day, one that has Romantic Warrior lauded as a two-time Hong Kong Cup winner.


Author: David Morgan from the Asian Racing Report

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