Peter Lau Pak-fai is at the trip of his hour, and then sight simply how a lot a shuttle to a chilly and rainy Geelong excited the landlord on Wednesday, it’s withered to consider the feelings he’ll be feeling at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Lau was once in his component as he watched Romantic Appeal run fourth in a Benchmark 70 at Geelong, however issues will ratchet up a couple of ranges when his horse of a life-time, Romantic Warrior, runs favorite within the Team One Cox Plate (2,040m).
“This is my first time ever to Australia, and first time ever in a racecourse here. The atmosphere is great,” Lau, who co-founded Japan House Centre, mentioned at Geelong on Wednesday.
“It means a lot to be. Whether he’s favourite or not is not important – it’s just about the chance of coming here, coming outside Hong Kong to race in such a big race. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an owner, and I’ll enjoy it.”
No longer in his wildest goals may Lau have dreamed up what Romantic Warrior has delivered him throughout his first 15 begins – a Hong Kong Derby victory and 3 Team One successes – and Cox Plate glory will be the sweetest luck of all.
“I just cannot imagine how great it would be. It would be the first time in history a Hong Kong horse has won the Cox Plate, so it would mean a lot,” mentioned Lau, who has a bar in his space devoted to his famous person.
Romantic Warrior is taking a look to change into most effective the second one Hong Kong horse to salute in Australia – of 49 runners, Cape Of Excellent Hope’s 2005 Team One Australia Stakes (1,200m) luck is town’s most effective victory Ailing Underneath.
3 Hong Kong horses have attempted and did not win a Cox Plate – River Verdon, Grand Style and Tremendous Child – and Romantic Warrior has had his fair proportion of demanding situations within the lead-up to Australasia’s unofficial weight-for-age championship.
The park to be this Saturday! 🇭🇰 🥂 🇦🇺
Proprietor Peter Lau created the ‘Warrior Bar’ to celebrate his celebrity, ROMANTIC WARRIOR, and invited lecturer Danny Shum over forward in their first check Ailing Underneath. #HKRacing | @WorldPool
— Hong Kong Racing (@HongKong_Racing) October 3, 2023
Schoolteacher Danny Shum Chap-shing has plundered in a foreign country riches prior to, profitable the 2012 Team One King’s Arise Stakes (1,000m) at Royal Ascot with Slight Bridge, however even he may now not have foreseen the hurdles his solid celebrity has had to triumph over.
Later lacking a pre-departure trial as a result of a storm, Romantic Warrior has had problems along with his feed, and with the amenities at Werribee World Horse Centre now not as complete as what Shum has at his disposal in Hong Kong, he believes he most effective has the five-year-old 90-95 in step with cent are compatible.
That has now not prevented punters from retaining Romantic Warrior secure at round $4 for his 2nd Australian task – he was once fourth within the Team One Turnbull Stakes (2,000m) at Flemington on October 7 – and he does have the advantage of one of the most international’s perfect riders and essentially the most a success gate in Cox Plate historical past.
So thriving on anticipation to steer ‘most special’ Warrior via Aussie marketing campaign
“He’s come on nicely with nice improvement, so we’re hopeful,” mentioned jockey James McDonald, who will spouse the son of Acclamation from barrier seven.
In the back of Romantic Warrior out there are Alligator Blood, who’s taking a look to snare his 3rd Team One of the vital Australian spring, the Ben, Will and JD Hayes-trained Mr Brightside, Turnbull Stakes winner Gold Travel and Chris Waller-prepared pair Militarize and Fangirl, the extreme of whom Zac Purton will trip.