The apparent acceptance by the stewards of Sunday's tactics on Ambitious Dragon had more eyebrow-raising potential than the love child of Salvador Dali and Marty Feldman. For some time, stewards have been keen to go through replays with jockeys and advise them on the need to avoid unnecessarily covering extra ground. Some rival jockeys have suggested Maxime Guyon's public popularity might have made him a koala - a protected species - but that is not true as he was chipped by the stewards earlier on Sunday for sitting wide on the untalented Lucky Nistelrooy. That Guyon chose not to make further use of this one-dimensional fellow in the middle stages after pressing forward early was not surprising, but Ambitious Dragon is a different subject and his ride was difficult to comprehend. At one stage, Ambitious Dragon was a 1.2 favourite, meaning almost 70 per cent of bets on the win pool were on the reigning Horse of the Year. Thus, it was of significant interest for punters to at least have an explanation for why the ride was undertaken in the manner it was. There may have been anticipation of a modest pace and some unreasonably optimistic pre-race plan to begin better than usual from the awkward gate and find a handier trail two wide - that can't be blamed on Guyon, whose knowledge of the styles of his opposition runners is likely minimal - but it would have been a knuckleheaded idea at best. Trainer Tony Millard himself seemed to pour cold water on this, when he excused the defeat by saying the horse was closer than usual and that it didn't suit. Another possible scenario is the horse's connections went into the race believing the horse needed only to stay out of traffic to win. Perhaps, with that arrogance in mind, the distraction was how to keep clear of the ruck and ensure the horse did not emerge with any injury that might work against his international ambitions. Guyon did appear to do his best to make sure the Dragon didn't have too hard a contest, sitting quietly for as long as he dared and, although he hit him with the whip 14 times, nine of those came in the last 100m or so, when it became clear the race wasn't a walkover. Dropping to the rear and switching off, a tactic which revealed the real Ambitious Dragon regardless of tempo last season, made much more sense before the race and absolute sense after it. Another possibility is that there was no plan, but Guyon was never asked the question by stewards. Other riders, who have been given serious penalties in the past year or so over whether their tactics were reasonable, will certainly have looked askance at the situation.