Romantic Warrior, left, ridden James McDonald, and Romantic Charm, ridden by Gary Lau, during trackwork at Flemington. (Image: Racing Photos)

Stablemates Romantic Warrior (left) and Romantic Charm working together (Image: Racing Photos)

The Romantic Warrior quandary

With Darcy Cosgriff and Ben Sporle

Romantic Warrior’s much anticipated attempt on the Cox Plate is expected to heavily skew S-TAB betting on the race via the World Pool.

The World Pool is to be conducted on the Cox Plate, as it was to record effect last week in the Caulfield Cup, with the massive interest in Hong Kong’s champion likely to be portrayed in World Pool figures.

The Cox Plate the race connections of Romantic Warrior are after and punters in Hong Kong are expected to follow in numbers beyond those recorded in his Australian debut in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington.

In the World Pool market on the race, Romantic Warrior firmed from $1.75 to $1.50 but on fixed odds in Australia, eased from $1.90 to $2.50 before finishing fourth.

A creation of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the World Pool brings together 25 co-mingled tote pools including those of Victoria and NSW.

The expected betting interest on Romantic Warrior will impact the price of other runners just as it did in the Turnbull when the winner Gold Trip eased to $31 on S-TAB but held firm at $19 on the fixed price.

“We saw at Romantic Warrior’s first Australian run that massive support from Hong Kong punters created inflated odds about most of the other runners in the race, that’s a win for punters. If you think Romantic Warrior is a risk in the Cox Plate then the World Pool is likely to present greater value than fixed odds," TAB spokesman Gerad Daffy sadi.

“So, if you like Romantic Warrior you can take the fixed odds now, and if you think he’s going to be some kind of risk there’s going to be opportunity for others on the tote world pool.

“It’s another example of why the World Pools concept is proving a massive hit with TAB customers and has punters across every track talking.”

The flood of money for Romantic Warrior, who has an elite 124 rating already this year, makes his attempt on history on that more mouth-watering as he has a pile of history to overcome.

The David Oughton-trained Cape of Good Hope is the only Hong Kong horse to win in Australia when claiming the 2005 G1 Australia Stakes at The Valley.

Romantic Warrior’s fourth in the Turnbull Stakes was the 48th Hong Kong starter since River Verdon broke new ground and traveled to Australia in 1994. River Verdon tried to win the Cox Plate himself and finished 11th behind Solvit while only two horses have tried since including Elegant Fashion in 2004 who finished 9th and Super Kid the following year clocking in 7th.

Danny Shum is the first Hong Kong trainer to travel a horse to Australia in eight years since John Moore traveled his stayer Dominant for the autumn carnival in Sydney in 2015.

Hong Kong trained horses to race in Australia:


River Verdon - 11th G1 Cox Palte

River Verdon - 20th G1 Melbourne Cup


Makarpura Star - 3rd G3 Coongy Handicap


Able Choice - 2nd Listed McKenzie Stakes

Helene Vitality - 8th G2 Craiglee Stakes

Able Choice - 4th G2 Ascot Vale Stakes

Helene Vitality - 13th G1 Underwood Stakes

Able Choice - 11th G3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude

Able Choice - 7th Listed Concept Sports Stakes

Helene Vitality - 4th G2 Turnbull Stakes

Helene Vitality - 12th G1 Caulfield Cup

Helene Vitality - 21st G1 Melbourne Cup


All Thrills Too - 14th G3 Bobbie Lewis

All Thrills Too - 11th G3 Gilgai Stakes

All Thrills Too - 14th G1 Caulfield Sprint

Elegant Fashion - 9th G1 Cox Plate

Elegant Fashion - 4th G1 Mackinnon Stakes


Cape of Good Hope - 3rd G1 Lightning Stakes

Cape of Good Hope - 1st G1 Australia Stakes

Super Kid - 2nd HCAP Caulfield

Super Kid - 2nd G1 Toorak Handicap

Super Kid - 7th G1 Cox Plate

Super Kid - 10th G1 Mackinnon Stakes

Cape of Good Hope - 3rd HCAP Flemington

Always Flying - 9th Listed Lexus Stakes

Cape of Good Hope - 3rd G2 The Age Classic

Always Flying - 3rd HCAP Sandown

Always Flying - 3rd HCAP Flemington


Cape of Good Hope - 3rd G1 Lightning Stakes


Growl - 8th G2 Crystal Mile

Growl - 6th G3 Eclipse Stakes


Forerver Fight - 4th HCAP Cranbourne


Mr Medici - 6th G1 Caulfield Cup

Mr Medici - 10th G1 Melbourne Cup


Happy Zero - 6th G3 McEwen Stakes

Silver Grecian - 6th G1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes

Mighty High - 3rd HCAP Caulfield

Happy Zero - 7th G1 Manikato Stakes

Mighty High - 4th G1 Caulfield Stakes

Mighty High - 17th G1 Caulfield Cup

Silver Grecian - 10th G2 Crystal Mile

Happy Zero - 11th G3 Chatham Stakes

Bear Hero - 10th G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes


Lucky Nine - 2nd G1 Manikato Stakes

Lucky Nine - 6th G1 VRC Sprint Classic


Dominant - 5th G1 Ranvet Stakes

Dominant - 6th G1 Sydney Cup


Romantic Warrior - 4th G1 Turnbull Stakes

Romantic Charm - 4th HCAP Geelong