Karaka Select Sale graduate Ambitious Dragon (NZ) produced the performance of his amazing career to lead home a NZ Bloodstock quinella in the G1 Hong Kong Mile at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Ambitious Dragon (6g Pins – Golden Gamble by Oregon) spotted the leaders many lengths when scouting wide around the home turn. But once in the clear under Zac Purton, he powered home to overhaul fellow Karaka graduate Glorious Days by a three-quarters of a length.
Glorious Days (Hussonet) was brave in defeat after getting the better of Ambitious Dragon at their last start in the G2 Jockey Club Mile.
Trainer Tony Millard was thrilled with Sunday’s victory and paid Ambitious Dragon the ultimate compliment. “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.”
Millard also reflected on just how close Ambitious Dragon came to missing the Hong Kong Mile as the horse was lame on Saturday. “The last 24 hours were trying and I really must thank my staff. They were still walking the horse at 11pm last night and he seemed to improve every hour when we brought him out this morning. It is a great reflection on the horse that he is.”
Hong Kong’s dual Horse of the Year showcased a remarkable run of success for Karaka Select Sale graduates. They have won the last three Group 1 Hong Kong Miles in a row starting with NZ-breds Beauty Flash (Golan) and Able One (Cape Cross).
New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2013 Karaka Premier Sale features a half-brother to Ambitious Dragon by the four-time Group 1 winning sire Mastercraftsman from the draft of Belvedere Farm at Lot 164.
A High Chaparral half-brother to Ambitious Dragon by was purchased by the HKJC from Belvedere Farm at the 2011 Karaka Premier Sale for $420,000. He was re-offered at Hong Kong’s December Sale on Saturday and was purchased for HK$3.80 million by clients of trainer Ricky Yui.
Ambitious Dragon was bred in New Zealand by Pat Lowry and was passed in for $47,500 at the 2008 Karaka Select Sale. He’s by Waikato Stud sire Pins from a half-sister to LR STC Winter Cup winner Recall (Kaapstad).
Millard prepares Ambitious Dragon for owner Johnson Lam. The gelding kicked off with lowly handicap wins at Sha Tin and Happy Valley in October 2010 before rising through the ranks to score a Group 1 first in the 2011 Hong Kong Derby.
Pins gelding returns to scale after the G1 Hong Kong Mile