Racing: NZ-breds add to success

Zac Purton  cheers after winning the Hong Kong Mile on Ambitious Dragon at Sha Tin on Sunday....
Zac Purton cheers after winning the Hong Kong Mile on Ambitious Dragon at Sha Tin on Sunday. Photo by Reuters.
Ambitious Dragon continued the run of New Zealand-bred horses to win the prestigious Hong Kong Mile with success at the International meeting at Sha Tin on Sunday night.

The Pins-Golden Gamble 6yr-old, twice the Hong Kong horse of the year, settled near the rear and was brought wide around the home turn by Zac Purton. He surged on to beat another New Zealand-bred, Glorious Days.

Sunline, by Desert Sun, was the first New Zealand-bred to win the race in 2000.

Then followed Lucky Owners (by Danehill) in 2003, Beauty Flash (by Golan) in 2010, and Able One (by Cape Cross) last year.

Lucky Owners, Beauty Flash and Able One were all sold at the Select session of the Karaka Yearling Sale.

Two other New Zealand-breds, Solar Great (by Falkirk), and Real Specialist (by Storming Home), also won at Sha Tin on Sunday.

Ambitious Dragon has won 12 of 23 starts and $HK52,991,600 ($NZ8.2 million) in stakes.

• Thorn Park, the sire of Cox Plate winner Ocean Park, has died at Windsor Park Stud, AAP reports.

The stud said the stallion succumbed to a long-running and deep-seated infection in the navicular bone of his near hind foot.

''Over the past few months every effort has been made by veterinarians and staff to overcome the infection, which also gave rise to laminitis in his off hind foot,'' a statement from Windsor Park said.

''While good progress had been made in the laminitic foot, unfortunately the infection in his near hind foot proved insurmountable."

Thorn Park was withdrawn from stud service in September as he battled the leg infection.

On the racetrack, Thorn Park won nine of his 22 starts including the 2004 Group One Stradbroke Handicap.

As well as Ocean Park, some of his notable progeny include Jimmy Choux, Veyron and Norzita.


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