AMBITIOUS DRAGON ended his career with prize-money earned in Hong Kong of HK$58,722,850.
|Country of Origin||: NZ||Owner||: Johnson Lam Pui Hung & Anderson Lam Hin Yue|
|Colour / Sex||: Bay / Gelding||Last Rating||: 123|
|Import Type||: PPG||Sire||: Pins|
|Total Stakes*||: $58,722,850||Dam||: Golden Gamble|
|No. of 1-2-3-Starts*||: 13-5-2-30||Dam’s Sire||: Oregon|
|Race Date||Ind||Jockey||Class||Pl.||Course||Dist.||R. Time|
|2010-02-03_3||360||C K Tong||4||8||HV Turf A||1200||1.11.14|
|2010-10-17_5||107||W C Marwing||4||1||ST Turf A+3||1400||1.22.72|
|2010-10-31_6||136||W C Marwing||G1||1||HV Turf A||1650||1.41.18|
|2011-01-09_9||312||M Guyon||3||1||ST Turf C||1600||1.35.80|
|2011-01-30_6||363||M Guyon||3||1||ST Turf A+3||1600||1.35.26|
|2011-02-20_9||413||M Guyon||HKG1||1||ST Turf A||1800||1.48.03|
|2011-03-20_8||484||M Guyon||HKG1||1||ST Turf A||2000||2.01.50|
|2011-05-01_8||586||D Whyte||G1||1||ST Turf A+3||2000||2.02.23|
|2011-10-01_8||62||D Whyte||HKG3||1||ST Turf C||1400||1.21.50|
|2012-01-29_8||360||D Whyte||HKG1||1||ST Turf A+3||1600||1.34.93|
|2012-02-26_7||431||D Whyte||HKG1||1||ST Turf A+3||2000||2.02.88|
|2012-03-31_7||—||D Whyte||G1||7||Meydan Turf||1800||unknown|
|2012-10-28_9||127||Z Purton||HKG2||1||ST Turf B+2||1600||1.33.59|
|2012-12-09_7||228||Z Purton||G1||1||ST Turf A||1600||1.34.12|
|2013-03-17_7||467||Z Purton||HKG1||1||ST Turf A||1400||1.20.63|
|2015-03-15_7||465||Z Purton||G1||5||ST Turf A||1400||1.21.87|
2010-02-03_3, AMBITIOUS DRAGON’s career started out somewhat anonymously with an eighth of 12 finish, came in a 1200m Class 4 contest at Happy Valley.
Trained at the time by Francis Lui, the then three-year-old would end that campaign without a win from four starts but with two runner-up efforts suggesting that better would follow.
No one could have foreseen just how much better he would become.
“Dragon” moved to the Millard stable after that campaign and the South African started his new charge in eight races during the 2010/2011 season.
The return was seven wins and a rise to the very pinnacle thereafter.
AMBITIOUS DRAGON scored a record of 13 wins from 30 starts, among them were 10 trophy-victories:
Hong Kong Classic Cup
Hong Kong Derby
Audemars Piguet Qe Ii Cup
Bmw Champions Mile
Longines Hong Kong Mile
Queen‘s Silver Jubilee Cup
Trainer Tony Millard guided the brilliant son of PINS to a host of big-race successes.
“In my opinion, he is as good as you get, and why I say that is because he was so versatile,” said Millard. “I have yet to see a horse, in my time here in Hong Kong, win Group 1 races at 1400m, 1600m, 1800m and 2000m. I haven’t seen another horse do that in the 16 years I’ve been here. He also ran second in the 2400m Group 1, and, frankly speaking, in his younger days, I would have thought he could have maybe won a Group 1 over 1200m. That type of versatility you just don’t get, and that is why a champion has no distance – that horse is a champion, he can do it – and that, to me, was AMBITIOUS DRAGON.
“He was also special because he was a quiet, laid-back horse. He was basically a gentle giant. I was humbled that he did come my way and that we managed to develop him, because you don’t often get the chance as a trainer to be able to do that. It is the ultimate to have a really good horse and train it the way you would like, and I have got to thank Johnson Lam because he left it to me; I made the calls and we got the results. We had the team behind us and we had the right people at the right time – that is what a horse needs, it needs a good mafoo and a good work rider because they can’t do it on their own, it is a team effort.
“It is about winning the Group 1s and he won seven. And it is about being Horse of the Year and then coming back and doing it again to establish why you are a good horse. Dragon did it and then he came back again, it wasn’t a one-off season. He proved he was a champion. I hope that one day, if I train long enough and live long enough, I might get another like him. It won’t be easy because a horse like him usually comes along just once in a lifetime.”
8 jockeys rode AMBITIOUS DRAGON throughout his career.
Weichong Marwing booted the first 2 wins, Maxime Guyon was on top for his Derby win, Douglas Whyte partnered him to four wins, Zac Purton was in the plate for his last three successes and his final start.
C K Tong rode the inaugural race, Gerald Mosse, Ryan Moore and Umberto Rispoli also took the reins in Millard’s training period.
“He was a gentleman to ride,” said Purton. “The pony would have to drag him around at the gates, he was so quiet. You would just switch him off, and on his day, when he was right, nothing in the world at the time could go with him. He was a phenomenal racehorse and the best miler I’ve ridden. It’s a shame we’re not going to see him race again but he gave me a great thrill when he won the Hong Kong Mile and it was a pleasure to be able to ride a horse of that calibre.”
“He was one of the best horses I’ve ridden here in Hong Kong,” said the 13-time Hong Kong Champion Jockey. “Still, to this day, he gave me the most unbelievable feeling of any horse I’ve ever ridden – his turn-of-foot was incredible. He was a champion, he was dour and he was as honest as the day is long.”
2013/2014, AMBITIOUS DRAGON subsequently suffered a tendon injury when preparing for his debut.
Yet although still capable of a high level of form, “Dragon” was unable to recapture the brilliance of his prime.
2015-04-26 Sunday, a retirement ceremony was held for AMBITIOUS DRAGON at Sha Tin Racecourse on APQEII Cup Day.
2010/11& 2011/12, two-time HK Horse of the Year
2010/11, the Most Popular Horse of the Year
2010/11, the Most Improved Horse
2010-2011, 7 wins in 8 starts equaled HK record of the highest winning horse in a single racing season
2010/11 & 2011/12, twice Champion Middle-distance
2011/12 & 2012/13, twice Champion Miler
2011-01-09 — 2011-10-01 6 successive wins among 2 seasons
2012. rated 124 (equal 13th) in the world rankings
2013, rated 124, ranking equal-11th in the world rankings
Acknowledgment to HKJC Racing Registry for offering relevant records.