Romantic Warrior and James McDonald in the closing stages of the G1 Cox Plate at The Valley. (Image: Racing Photos)

Romantic Warrior winning the 2023 Cox Plate. (Image: Racing Photos)

Valley wants Warrior back in '24

Moonee Valley Racing Club has opened discussions with connections of Hong Kong superstar Romantic Warrior in a bid to entice him to come back and defend his Cox Plate crown next year.

MVRC's Head of Racing Charlotte Mills said Romantic Warrior’s follow-up win in the Hong Kong Cup last Sunday demonstrated that winning both races could be done.

“It shows what a true champion can do. To be able to come back in a period of six weeks and nail that double was for us as a club was something to be proud of; he was able to win Australia’s best race and then go and win at Hong Kong. It showed it could be done,” Mills said.

“There was a huge amount of pride to see a Hong Kong horse win here. It should open the gates for others to come and contest the race.

“We’d love to have Romantic Warrior back. They’ve proven it can be done and we’d love to see more of it.”

Mills said Moonee Valley Chief executive Michael Browell was in Hong Kong for the International Races and he met with Romantic Warrior’s trainer Danny Shum and owner Peter Lau with a return appearance in the 2024 Cox Plate at the top of his agenda.

Browell gave Hong Kong Jockey Club chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges a replica of the Cox Plate which will be shown in the Hong Kong Racing Museum at Happy Valley.

Mills said the vibe Shum brought to the Cox Plate was amazing as was James McDonald and his promotion of Australian racing to Hong Kong and its racing industry.