Prize-money and geography make middle-distance races at Royal Ascot a hard sell for challengers from Hong Kong and Japan

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France correspondent
Romantic Warrior (second from left) fends off Luxembourg (right) in the Hong Kong Cup
There will be no rematch between Romantic Warrior (striped cap) and Luxembourg (right of picture) in Europe this summerCredit: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)

The admission that Royal Ascot faces an uphill task in persuading owners and trainers from the eastern powerhouses of Japan and Hong Kong to send their best horses to challenge the European elite in June is a striking one, for all that the disparity in prize-money between even Britain’s best and those jurisdictions is not a new revelation.

For those of us who love to see champions from across the globe meet, the prospect of Hong Kong’s Romantic Warrior and James McDonald throwing down the gauntlet in either the Queen Anne or the Prince of Wales’s Stakes would have set up a race for the ages. 

Given the riches on offer at Sha Tin, owner Peter Lau and trainer Danny Shum had already shown themselves to be major adventurers last October when taking on and winning the Cox Plate, Australia’s greatest weight-for-age race. 

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Published on inRoyal Ascot

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