Hong Kong welcomed in the Year of the Dragon with an appropriate winner of the G1 Stewards Cup (1600m) on Sunday.
Reigning Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon raced away to a comprehensive victory in the first leg of the HK Triple Crown at Sha Tin. Trainer Tony Millard will press on for the final two legs in the G1 HK Gold Cup (2000m) and G1 Champions & Chater Cup (2400m).
“He’s back, that’s the main thing, he’s back!” Millard said. “He has a phenomenal turn of speed and can really turn it on.”
Ambitious Dragon (5g Pins – Golden Gamble by Oregon) was unstoppable last year rising through the ranks to win at G1 level in the Hong Kong Derby and the Audemars Piguet QEII Cup. However, he finished 2011 with a disappointing fourth to California Memory in the G1 Hong Kong Mile.
Millard put the International Cup failure down to experience and the NZ bred gelding looked a much more seasoned individual in the Stewards Cup. “I think Ambitious Dragon is a true champion,” Millard claimed. “He hasn’t got a best distance.”
Ambitious Dragon is raced by Johnson Lam Pui Hung after being passed in for $47,500 at the 2008 NZB Karaka Select yearling sale. His dam is a half-sister to Listed STC Winter Cup winner Recall (Kaapstad).