• Racing/
  • Ambitious Dragon Roars Again

Longines Hong Kong Mile (Group 1 Stakes) 7f 210y

  • (3yo+, 7f 210y, Class 1, 12 runners)
  • Winner HK$11,441,998 2nd HK$4,327,997 3rd HK$2,150,002 4th HK$984,006 5th HK$495,997 6th HK$295,998
  • Going: Good
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Off time: 07:57:46
  • Stewards Inquiry - Result Stands
  • Last Updated: December 9 2012, 12:21 GMT

Ambitious Dragon defied a late scare to land the Longines Hong Kong Mile at Sha Tin.

Zac Purton celebrates after winning aboard Ambitious Dragon
Zac Purton celebrates after winning aboard Ambitious Dragon

The participation of Tony Millard's six year old had been in doubt after a veterinary inspection found the horse to be moderately lame in the right hind leg.

However, the current Hong Kong Horse Of The Year passed a second check and proved the decision to be the correct one with a barnstorming victory under Zac Purton.

Settled towards the rear of the field, it appeared as though his old rival Glorious Days had the race run when Doug Whyte kicked for home and took a couple of lengths out of the field.

Having been switched wide on the final bend in preparation of launching his challenge Ambitious Dragon picked up stylishly in the straight to collar his old foe.

Winning rider Purton said: "The last thing Tony said was just worry about what you're doing and not everyone else, so I did that and I had the horse underneath me.

"I thought the pace was nice enough that I was able to wait a little bit but like I'd said to Tony, if they didn't go too fast I was going to have to make a little bit of a longer run on him and I just tried to wait until I got into the straight and then let him down.

"I let him roll into his gear and then let him down and in the end I never had to touch him with the whip, it was a pretty soft win and a good effort."

Victory provided connections with redemption as their New Zealand bred son of Pins could only finish fourth when a short-priced favourite for the Hong Kong Cup 12 months ago.

With Ambitious Dragon lame it had been a worrying day for Millard: "I definitely know what Kiefer Sutherland felt like in '24', because the last 24 hours were trying and I really must thank my staff.

"Up to 11pm last night they were still walking the horse and we brought him out this morning and he seemed to improve every hour. It is a great reflection on the horse that he is. He's just a super champion and he can win over any distance. When I saw him picking them up I thought I hope he does not flatten out but they had gone a good lick so they were stopping."

Packing OK was back in third just ahead of Gordon Lord Byron in a highly-creditably fourth.

Tackling eight furlongs for the first time since 2011, Thomas Hogan's Prix de la Foret winner travelled strongly in fourth in the the early stages as Don Bosco ensured a decent pace.

Turning for home, William Buick pulled Gordon Lord Byron wide to challenge and he looked a possible winner over a furlong out only to toil in the last few yards.

Buick said: "I was close to the pace most of the way and we had a lovely trip. Maybe the horse does not quite stay the mile but he ran very well. Couldn't have asked much more from him."

William Haggas' Master Of The Hounds finished well down the field as did Francois Doumen's Siyouma with Gerald Mosse reporting that she ran flat.

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