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Winning jockey Zac Purton celebrates after winning the Hong Kong Mile aboard Ambitious Dragon
In the HK$20 million (US$2.6 million) Longines Hong Kong Mile (G1), the world's richest turf mile race, a field of 12 older horses went to post for the 1600 meter (about 1 mile) trip around one turn of the Sha Tin turf. Glorious Days was sent off as the 7-5 favorite off a win in the Jockey Club Mile (G2), the major local prep for this event. In to challenge him included 3-1 second choice Ambitious Dragon, fifth in the Jockey Club Mile and winless since the BMW Champions Mile (G1) in June, and 4-1 third choice Packing Whiz, winner of the Sa Sa Ladies' Purse (G3) two starts back then fourth in the Jockey Club Cup (G2) last out.
Jockey Olivier Peslier sent 100-1 Don Bosco to the lead exiting the chute and he set fractions of 24.88, 47.79, and 1:11.08 over the good turf course, while stalked by 89-1 Packing OK and 10-1 Grand Prix Boss. Entering the lane, Don Bosco tired as favorite Glorious Days, fifth early, moved up to take a short lead at the 1/8 pole. Ambitious Dragon, 10th early, closed down the center of the course to win by 3/4 length in 1:34.12. It was another 1 1/2 length back from Glorious Days to Packing OK third.
# Horse Jockey Win Place 1 Ambitious Dragon Purton $41.50 $16.50 3 Glorious Days Whyte $12.00 11 Packing OK Marwing $162.00 Winning Time: 1:34.12 $10 Quinella 1-3 $53.50 $10 Trifecta 1-3-11 $3,168.00 $10 First Four 1-3-4-11 $6,267.00 * Note that these are $10 payoffs from Hong KongResults Chart from HKJC with video replay
Left: Ambitious Dragon in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Tony Millard said, referring to the horse being lame on Saturday morning: "I definitely know what Kiefer Sutherland felt like in '24', because the last 24 hours were trying and I really must thank my staff. Up to 11pm last night they were still walking the horse and we brought him out this morning and he seemed to improve every hour. It is a great reflection on the horse that he is. 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."
Right: Ambitious Dragon heads back to the barn in his winner's blanket.
Left: Ambitious Dragon heads out to the track before the race. Winning jockey Zac Purton said, "The last thing Tony said was just worry about what you're doing and not everyone else so I did that and I had the horse underneath me. I thought the pace was nice enough that I was able to wait a little bit and I just tried to wait until I got into the straight and then let him down. I let him roll into his gear and let him down and in the end I never had to touch him with the whip. It was a pretty soft win and a good effort."
Right: The trophy presentation for the Hong Kong Mile.
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Glorious Days heads out to the track. Jockey Douglas Whyte said, "He jumped very well from the stalls and we have got a perfect trip. My horse gave everything but the winner was just too good on the day."
Right: Third place finisher Packing OK returns to the unsaddling enclosure. Jockey Weichong Marwing said, "Great result for Hong Kong with the first three horses home trained here. I was comfortable throughout the race and he ran very well."
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