Luxembourg ready for Romantic Warrior battle

Aidan O’Brien is looking forward to taking on home favourite Romantic Warrior in Sunday’s Hong Kong Cup.

Luxembourg has not been seen since almost upsetting stablemate Auguste Rodin in the Irish Champion Stakes.

That form looks red-hot, with Auguste Rodin having won the Derby at Epsom and the Irish equivalent before subsequently triumphing in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

However, in Romantic Warrior, who travelled to Australia to win the Cox Plate recently, he faces a stern rival.

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Luxembourg (right) went down narrowly to Auguste Rodin in the Irish Champion Stakes
Luxembourg (right) went down narrowly to Auguste Rodin in the Irish Champion Stakes (Damien Eagers/PA)

“He was second in the Irish Champion Stakes and then he had a foot bruise, this was a race we had our eye on with him,” said O’Brien.

“It’s going to be great, hopefully we have him right and well and hopefully we’ll be able to gauge those mile-and-a-quarter races all over the world. We’re looking forward to it.

Asked about taking on last year’s winner Romantic Warrior, O’Brien said: “He’s obviously a very good horse, Romantic Warrior, we totally respect every horse and he is very good.

“It’ll be interesting. I think it’ll be a nice race to watch and it’ll be an even-run mile and a quarter I’d imagine. Hopefully he’ll run well.”

Warm Heart was an impressive winner at Royal Ascot in June
Warm Heart was an impressive winner at Royal Ascot in June (David Davies/PA)

The Ballydoyle handler will have four runners on the card with Aesop’s Fables in the Sprint and Cairo in the Mile, while Warm Heart holds very strong claims in the Vase.

She did not win her maiden until May 7 but went on to land the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot, the Yorkshire Oaks, the Prix Vermeille and went down narrowly at the Breeders’ Cup to Inspiral over 10 furlongs.

Due to the sex allowance, Ryan Moore will get down to 117lb (less than 8st 4lb) to ride her.

“He always got on very well with her and I think he’s looking forward to it,” said O’Brien.

“She has a nice weight pull, she’s well in and is a very consistent filly. It looks like she’s a little bit better maybe at a mile and a half, Rachel (Richardson) rides her out and she’s very happy with her. She looks very well.”

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