09/26/2016 3:23PM

Ambitious Champion kicks off season in Wistaria Handicap

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Hong Kong Jockey Club
Ambitious Champion wins the Queen Mother Memorial Cup at Sha Tin.

Ambitious Champion, a Group 3 winner in Hong Kong in April, will start for the first time in the 2016-17 Hong Kong Season in Wednesday’s $225,652 Wistaria Handicap at about a mile on turf at Happy Valley Racecourse.

Ambitious Champion, a 7-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding, is part of a competitive field of 12 for the final race on an eight-race program that begins at 7:15 a.m. Eastern.

Ambitious Champion followed his win in the Group 3 Queen Mother Colonial Cup at Sha Tin with a sixth-place finish in the Group 1 Champions and Chater Cup at 1 1/2 miles on turf in May. Wednesday’s race will be the first start for Ambitious Champion since a 10th-place finish in a handicap on July 1.

Ambitious Champion has been assigned 130 pounds, three fewer than highweight Basic Trilogy, the winner of a handicap at a mile on turf at Sha Tin in May.

There are several runners in the field with leading chances, notably Divine Boy, Super Lifeline, and Dynamism.

Divine Boy, assigned 129 pounds, was seventh in the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize at six furlongs on turf on May 1. A 5-year-old gelding by Street Cry, Divine Boy was seventh in a six-furlong handicap at Sha Tin on Sept. 3, his only start of the current campaign.

Super Lifeline, who will carry 126 pounds, was winless in 11 starts on the Hong Kong circuit in 2015-16 but did run an encouraging third in the Group 3 Hong Kong Macau Trophy at seven furlongs on turf last March. The Wistaria Handicap will be Super Lifeline’s first start since June.

Dynamism was sixth in the 2014 German Derby. On Wednesday, Dynamism will be ridden by top jockey Joao Moreira at 120 pounds. A 5-year-old British-bred gelding, Dynamism was second in a handicap at about a mile at Happy Valley in June.

Another low-weighted runner with a chance is Magical Beauty, who won twice against lesser company in April and May and was third in his most recent start in June. Magical Beauty will carry 118 pounds.

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