Ambitious Campaign for HK Triple Crown?

Monday 27 February 2012, 3:07PM

By New Zealand Bloodstock


Karaka graduate and Hong Kong's reigning Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon roared to victory in Sunday's HK-1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) to claim the second leg of the Hong Kong Triple Crown.

The Tony Millard trained star was kept travelling comfortably midfield by jockey Douglas Whyte for most of the race before being peeled into the clear and called upon 250m from home. The subsequent turn of foot
from Ambitious Dragon (Pins x Golden Gamble) set him streaking two lengths clear before Whyte eased him up in the final stages to win by one-and-a-quarter lengths.

The son of Pins won the first leg of Hong Kong's coveted series when defeating Xtension and California Memory in the HK-1 Steward's Cup at Sha Tin (1600m) on January 29 and, in last night's stellar
performance, he replicated the achievement over more distance with Xtension and California Memory again following him home. "I must admit, it felt better than the Stewards' Cup, he's come back, for sure," said Whyte.

"This was his acid test at the 10 furlongs to see if he had come back to what he is and he certainly gave me every indication today that Ambitious Dragon is back." Winning the first two legs of the Hong Kong Triple Crown has secured Ambitious Dragon a HK$2 million bonus. The remaining leg of the Triple
Crown is the 2400m HK-1 Champions & Charter Cup in May, however plans for the five-year-old's next target are yet to be finalised with Millard set to assess his options in the coming days.

"Next week we will look at where we go next; we need to see how the horse pulls up and we'll discuss with Johnson (Lam) before we decide. He's so versatile that there are different races to consider," said Millard.Bred by Mr Pat Lowry, Ambitious Dragon was offered by Belvedere Farm at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2008 Karaka Select Sale and has now won 10 of his 17 career starts.Ambitious Dragon spearheaded a remarkable night of success for New Zealand bred horses in Asia with eight of the ten races held at Sha Tin won by horses carrying the NZ suffix.

In Singapore the kiwis won nine races from the 12-race card at Kranji with New Zealander Stephen Gray training six winners across the weekend and Laurie Laxon notching up his nine-hundredth winner since he started training in Singapore.

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