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)

Warrior still in Plate picture

Hong Kong superstar Romantic Warrior remains atop Paul Bloodworth's wishlist for the Cox Plate, but he admits he's not holding his breath that last year's winner will return to Melbourne.

Racing Victoria's international recruiter met with trainer Danny Shum during a recent trip to Hong Kong and has also had several exchanges with him since the globetrotting gelding's historic win in the Group 1 Yasuda Kinen (1600m) in Japan.

Shum has indicated a decision on what the remainder of Romantic Warrior's 2024 looks like will be communicated imminently, with several options both domestically and abroad.

Romantic Warrior is on the second line of Sportsbet's Cox Plate market at $5.

"We got told that we'd have an answer about what their plans are for later in the year are after the Yasuda Kinen," Bloodworth said.

"I've had a few chats with Danny since then and I think we're still in the ball game but we're waiting for official confirmation.

"They haven't said no to us, although the vibe all along is that he might not come back.

"There is a race in Japan over 2000m called the Tenno Sho, which is basically on the same weekend as the Cox Plate, but it sounds like he's not going to that so we're a chance."

Now a winner of nine local and international G1s, Romantic Warrior added the Hong Kong Cup, the HK Gold Cup and the QE2 Cup to his CV in between his Cox Plate win and his successful Japanese raid.