Hong Kong option remains open for Romanised

A trip to Hong Kong remains on the table for Romanised despite his odds-on defeat at Dundalk on Monday.

Making his first appearance since finishing last of six runners in the Prix du Moulin at ParisLongchamp in early September, Ken Condon’s dual Group One winner was a short-priced favourite for what was his first ever start on the all-weather in County Louth.

However, the five-year-old lost several lengths at the start and ended up being beaten into third place by Saltonstall.

Condon said: “I think it served its purpose – it was a prep run and he blew the start.

“Billy (Lee, jockey) had to get him into the race, then he was in his hands a bit. He travelled really well through the race, like we know he can, and went to win his race and just took a blow and got a bit tired.

“If you take him in isolation, it was an interesting exercise as he’s run his race faster than anything else, if that makes sense.

“If he’d jumped away with them, it would have been a different story. Billy was particularly happy and he’s the one that is the most relevant in this jigsaw.”

Condon was previously keen on a tilt at the Hong Kong Mile and while disappointed to see his stable star suffer defeat, he believes there was enough encouragement in his performance to stick to the plan, provided Romanised takes his Dundalk exertions well.

He added: “We’ll see how he is in the next week – we don’t have to commit to Hong Kong immediately. But I still think we’re on course and he’ll get something from the race (at Dundalk), as he’d been off the track a while.

“All things considered, it was a solid run. It’s important now to see how he trains in the next week as it’s a long way to go and we want to be going there with a horse in top condition.

“I was initially disappointed that he got beaten, but after I analysed it closely and watched the race several times and listened to everybody, I think he’s run well.”

Hong Kong trip hinges on Dundalk run for Romanised

Romanised will run at Dundalk next week before Ken Condon confirms a trip to Hong Kong.

The dual Group One-winner, who won the Minstrel Stakes for a second time in July, has been below his best the last twice – in the Jacques le Marois and the Prix du Moulin.

Romanised is due to head to stud next year – so should he fail to fire at Dundalk, in a conditions race over a mile on Monday, it is likely to be his last run.

But Condon has been happy with him and is keen on a last hurrah in the Hong Kong Mile.

“He’s in good shape, and we’ve freshened him up since the Moulin,” said the County Kildare trainer.

“The plan is to run on Monday at Dundalk in a conditions race. He’ll have plenty of penalties, but that’s fine, it’s just a long way to go to Hong Kong on the back of his Moulin run.

“We’ll decide whether he goes to Hong Kong or not depending on how he runs at Dundalk. He’s never been on Polytrack before but he’s fresh and well so we’ll see how he gets on.

“If everyone is happy and he gives a good performance then we’ll have a good look at Hong Kong.

“We’d like to go, but it depends on how he runs on Monday.”