Romantic Warrior wins third straight QEII Cup at Sha Tin

Noah Strang
Noah Strang
Tamworth Racecourse 26/04/24
Romantic Warrior dominates Queen Elizabeth II Cup

Romantic Warrior won the 2024 Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Sunday at the Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong. This win was the 6-year-old gelding’s third straight win in the competition. No horse has ever won more than twice.  
New Zealand jockey James McDonald led Romantic Warrior to his victory. The Kiwi was also Romantic Warrior’s rider at the 2023 QEII Cup. For the win, Romantic Warrior earned his owners HK$28 million (AUD$5.4 million). 

News Insights

  • Romantic Warrior wins third straight QEII Cup.
  • Kiwi jockey claims second win.
  • 2024 Champions Mile could be the last for Golden Sixty.

Romantic Warrior makes history 

No horse has ever won three Queen Elizabeth II Cup races, let alone won three straight. This is what Romantic Warrior accomplished on Sunday. 
The Danny Shum-trained horse came into the race as the favourite with horse racing betting sites at $1.95 odds, but the win was still stunning for fans watching at the Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong.  
Romantic Warrior almost miraculously emerged from the back of the pack during the final 400m of the race to rapidly gain ground on Japanese horse Prognosis.  
The six-year-old gelding obviously won the race after his amazing effort, netting HK$28 million (AUD$5.4 million) in prize money and making history in the process. 

Jockey left speechless 

New Zealander James McDonald has ridden Romantic Warrior in six of the horse’s seven Group 1 victories. None of them seemed to have affected the Kiwi as much as the win on Sunday.  
“I'm speechless. He's awesome," McDonald said after the race.  
He was beaten at the 600m, he just finds a way. It's incredible. I dead set didn't have one thing go my way. I had 10 riders dead set against me and the horse. I just had no favours. He is incredible. 
“There wasn't one part of the race I was happy with, to be honest with you. I'm just in disbelief.” 

Golden Sixty may have run last race 

While most of the racing world is celebrating Romantic Warrior’s historic achievement, many Hong Kong horse racing fans are lamenting the end of one of the country’s best horses.  
Golden Sixty, the most successful horse in Hong Kong racing history, finished fourth in the Group One Champions Mile at Sha Tin Racecourse. The 8-year-old went into the race as favourite with $1.5 odds, looking for his 27th ever race win. Now, it looks like his career might be over.  
He ran well. The ground was not in our favour. When I hit the straight I could already feel he could not pick up with his usual turn of foot,” Golden Sixty’s trainer Francis Lui said after the race. 

“Yes, I think [that is his final run] – probably. We’ll discuss with the owner, but he’s nine next year,” Lui added, confirming retirement is on the horizon for Golden Sixty.