Ambitious Dragon (centre right) bounces back from injury to win MilePICTURE: Masakazu Takahashi
No worries for Ambitious Dragon as he lands Mile
Report: Hong Kong, Sunday
Sha Tin: Longines Hong Kong Mile (Group 1) 3yo+ (turf)
HONG KONG'S horse of the year Ambitious Dragon overcame a late scare to run out a popular winner of the Hong Kong Mile.
The Tony Millard-trained six-year-old had to overcome a late test from the vet due to a leg injury but any worries about his wellbeing proved to be unfounded as he swooped down the centre of the track to win.
Glorious Days finished three quarters of a length back in second with Packing OK just edging out Gordon Lord Byron for third.
This was a first win in the International races for Zac Purton who was completing a treble on the card having won two of the handicaps earlier in the day.
Olivier Peslier led them along at a good gallop on Don Bosco, setting it up perfectly for Ambitious Dragon to come from well down the field.
Purton had just two horses behind as they straightened up and after swinging widest of all Ambitious Dragon stormed through the last furlong to reel in Glorious Days.
Millard said: "It was a really trying 24 hours and I must thank my staff. Up until 11pm last night we were still walking the horse.
"He just seemed to improve every hour this morning, getting better and better. That's a great reflection on the horse - he is a super champion.
"I'm not worried about any distance he runs over - he could run a multiple range of distances. When you set him up for a race he can do it."
Purton, appeared to get involved in an exchange with Doug Whyte after the line and he explained: "He had pointed the finger and was a bit chippy last time so I returned serve today."
Purton confirmed the dual horse of the year in Hong Kong had won as easily as it looked. "I couldn't sit up and look so pretty as racing the domestic horses but I didn't have to hit him - it was easy."
Connections of Irish raider Gordon Lord Byron lodged an objection against Packing OK after that one bumped their runner in the final strides but the stewards left the result as it was.