Veteran gelding Ambitious Dragon may be ruled out of the 2014 Hong Kong Mile at Sha Tin on Sunday after he was found lame in his right front leg yesterday.
Trainer Tony Millard told the Hong Kong Jockey Club that Ambitious Dragon had been found lame due to a possible foot infection, but he did not rule the son of Pins out of Hong Kong Mile contention and said that he would continue to monitor the eight-year-old over the next 48 hours.
Millard told The South China Morning Post that Ambitious Dragon had improved substantially after receiving treatment for the foot infection and he is desperately hoping that the problem is only a minor foot abscess, which would likely allow the seven-year-old to take his place in the 2014 Hong Kong Mile field.
“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.”
Ambitious Dragon has been one of the best horses in Hong Kong over the past four years, but he suffered an injury after finishing sixth in the 2013 edition of the Group 1 The Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) that saw him ruled out of racing for 18 months.
The talented gelding returned after his lengthy lay-off with a fast-finishing third behind Military Attack and Gold-Fun in the Group 2 The Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy (1600m) on October 26 and he was far from disgraced when third behind Able Friend in the Group 2 Jockey Club Mile (1600m) on November 23.
If Ambitious Dragon is passed fit to contest the Hong Kong Mile he will have the chance to record an eighth win at the highest level of racing after previously taking out the 2011 Hong Kong Classic Cup, 2011 Hong Kong Derby, 2011 The Audemars Piguet QEII Cup, 2012 Stewards Cup, 2012 Hong Kong Gold Cup, 2012 Hong Kong Mile and 2013 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup.
Ambitious Dragon is currently available at 2014 Hong Kong Mile odds of $12, while Able Friend ($1.75) remains a dominant favourite from Gold-Fun ($6) and Glorious Day ($10).