Ambitious Dragon No Certainty for 2014 Hong Kong Mile

December 10th, 2014

Having returned to racing in typically strong form this season, classy gelding Ambitious Dragon may figure as the first scratching from the final field for Saturday’s Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin after being found to be harbouring heat in his front right leg on Tuesday.

2014 Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup winner Ryan Moore will partner Ambitious Dragon in the 2014 Hong Kong Mile, should he line up. Photo: Sarah Ebbett

2014 Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup winner Ryan Moore will partner Ambitious Dragon in the 2014 Hong Kong Mile, should he line up. Photo: Sarah Ebbett

Running a close third in the Group 2 Sha Tin Trophy (1600m) first-up this time, Ambitious Dragon took out a strong Sha Tin barrier trial over 1000m on November 14th before again finishing just off the pace when third in the Group 2 Jockey Club Mile (1600m) last time out.

Having found the son of Pins to be harbouring a likely foot infection, trainer Tony Millard told the South China Morning Post he is yet to rule Ambitious Dragon out of the 2014 Hong Kong Mile and will use to next few days to judge the overall condition of the eight-year-old.

“This morning he was on three legs and I was devastated, but we’ve worked on him all day and it looks like he has turned the corner,” Millard said.

“We walked him two laps of the training complex tonight and you wouldn’t know he had a problem the way he was moving.

“I believe it’s like the problem that the Australian sprinter (Buffering) has but a little further in, so at first we weren’t sure if it was an abscess or a puncture wound, so we had to be a bit careful, but it looks like an abscess.

“We still have a couple of days and once they blow, the foot can clean up quickly and the horse will be fine.

“Luckily, he finished all his fast work on Monday.”

Securing thirteen race wins and a further seven minor places from his 28 competitive appearances on course so far, Ambitious Dragon was a standout over the 2012 racing calendar; highlighted by victories in each of the Group 1 Steward’s Cup (1600m), Group 1 Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) and Group 1 Hong Kong Mile.

Returning for just three starts in 2013, the gelding out of Golden Gamble placed fourth in the Steward’s Cup before charging home to take out the Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) on March 17th; returning to the paddock after placing sixth in the Group 1 QEII Cup (2000m).

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