Dragon blows rivals away
2 October 2011
Hong Kong’s reigning Horse of the Year did the seemingly impossible on Saturday when blowing rivals away in HK-3 National Day Cup (1400m) at Sha Tin.
Returning to the track after a summer lay-off, Ambitious Dragon was “nowhere near his peak,” according to trainer Tony Millard up, but yet was able to simply outclass a field of true 1400m specialists under topweight conditions, winning without even having been touched with the whip.
“He’s improved,” said Millard incredulously of the Pat and Jane Lowry bred galloper, as he walked back to the weighing alongside jockey Douglas Whyte.
“He’s actually improved! I thought he might run third or fourth, and I’d have been very pleased with that because this was just the start of his preparation for the international meeting in December. But to beat horses like that ridden hands and heels was just unbelievable. That was something to behold.”
Considering the base from which that improvement has been made, last season’s record-equalling winner of seven races, including the HKG1 Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby and the G1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup, must be one of the best racehorses anywhere around now.
“We can do it sometimes,” smiled Millard contentedly as Whyte weighed in.
The John Moore-trained Destined For Glory ran on well to take second with last season’s Champion Miler, the Tony Cruz-trained Beauty Flash in third. But really it was a case of Ambitious Dragon first, the rest nowhere as the middle distance champ put two and a half lengths between himself and the rest without really being asked to exert himself in a time of 1.21.50.
Douglas Whyte described Ambitious Dragon without hesitation as: “Probably the best horse I’ve ever ridden. I’d given him a breather. We were about three quarters back and he was very, very comfortable. Then I just gave him a squeeze and he ran past them so quickly it was incredible. He is the most amazing horse to ride. This is the sort of horse you dream about all your life. It’s just beautiful.”
Owned by Johnson Lam and selected by Kiwi Bloodstock Agent Bruce Perry, Ambitious Dragon has won 8 of his 13 starts and has amassed earnings of HK$24,021,600 (approx. NZ$ 4,055,943).
Press Release HKJC