Derby winner Ambitious Dragon transported champion jockey Douglas Whyte back to the earliest days of his Hong Kong career yesterday in giving him a third Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup and perhaps he is the 'big horse' for which the brilliant South African has been waiting. On the same afternoon that Sacred Kingdom's decline from world champion continued with a controversial defeat that will see the dissolution of the trainer-jockey partnership behind his greatest wins, Ambitious Dragon looked every inch the future of Hong Kong's top-level aspirations. When Entrapment was the first horse to win seven races in a season last year, it seemed a rare and remarkable achievement but the same feat paled into the background as Ambitious Dragon matched it, winning his third Group One race in succession and emulated Vengeance Of Rain as the only Derby winner to do the double and win the QE II. The race for Horse Of The Year honours now looks a match between the Tony Cruz-trained Beauty Flash and Tony Millard's four-year-old superstar, who frightened his backers when he left the starting gates a clear last then enthralled them when it made no difference to the result. 'He got a bit aggro in the gates and wanted to get his head down and it was difficult to get it up and then he did it again as the gates opened, so he almost blew his chance,' Whyte said. 'But before the race, Tony oozed confidence in what we were about to do and left the race to me one hundred per cent. My plan changed, I had to make things happen but when you're on the best horse, you can do that.' Whyte spared a thought - albeit a brief one - for French jockey Maxime Guyon, who had been the regular partner of Ambitious Dragon but was held to rides in France at the weekend by his main retainer. 'I would like to thank Andre Fabre for insisting Maxime ride there so I could get on this horse,' Whyte said wryly. 'It hurts any jockey to lose a horse like this but if it wasn't me it would have been someone else. And now that I've won on him, I'll be doing everything I can to stay on him. This was the race I won on London News with all of South Africa cheering me on in 1997 and it really set my career alight in Hong Kong, so to win it again for another South African trainer is special. 'I've had some good associations with horses here like Indigenous and Oriental Express and Armada, whose career was held back by injury. I haven't had a really great horse but maybe this is the one.' The main event delivered for punters who made Ambitious Dragon the hot favourite but not so Sacred Kingdom, unluckily beaten earlier in the day in what jockey Brett Prebble described as 'a crying shame' but a defeat nevertheless that will see the Australian replaced on the seven-year-old. The day was not without its controversies, with the Millard-Whyte team missing a start with another hot favourite earlier in the day, the Class Five horse Gold Joint, scratched at the gates and forcing the Jockey Club to return HK$36.5 million in bets. With the QE II and Champions Mile being split to different days this year, the crowd was down almost 3,000 on last year's figure and so was turnover but the Jockey Club was unconcerned. 'I think if you consider the two Group One days as one then it was very good and once again the international race today held well and proved the popularity of international racing,' said chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.