Mustard-keen Guyon vows to return to ride Ambitious Dragon in Derby
Maxime Guyon has already reserved his return ticket from France if Ambitious Dragon can continue his brilliant form in next month's Hong Kong Classic Cup (1,800m) in the lead-up to the Mercedes Benz Hong Kong Derby (2,000m) on March 20.
Guyon's riding contract is due to end the day after the Classic Cup meeting on February 20, but the young Frenchman is keen to return a month later to take on the best local four-year-olds with Ambitious Dragon - who trounced his Class Three opposition with top weight. 'I said after his last win that I really felt this horse could go a lot higher in the ratings, and after today I'm sure he is capable of competing in the Group races,' Guyon said.
Guyon has built a good record on the Tony Millard-trained galloper, who racked up win number four for the season and helped the jockey break a frustrating run of 37 outs.
'I'm very happy to be associated with this horse, because I really believe he has the potential to be fighting out the finish of the top class races,' Guyon said. 'Obviously it is great to have won two races with him, but there are bigger things in his future for sure. If he can run well in the Classic Cup, then I'll definitely be coming back to ride him in the Derby.'
Ambitious Dragon has climbed the ratings ladder from his season opening mark of 57 and, after a thumping 2 3/4 - length win off yesterday's mark of 79, has all but guaranteed a run in the Derby Trial, if not the main event.
'I always knew that he was an improving horse, but I didn't think he'd improve so quickly,' Millard said. 'I gave him a break in late November to freshen him up because he was looking a bit leg weary after some tough runs at the Valley, and his two runs since he has just improved enormously.
'He'll run 1,800 metres no problem and his next run will be in the Classic Cup. He is one of two runners I hope to have in the Derby, with Treasure Lands who ran well last week.'
Ambitious Dragon made light work of his opposition over the mile in the Armada Handicap, beating the Caspar Fownes-trained Happy Guys by 2 3/4 lengths, with a further three quarters of a length back to Nice Folks in third.