KING’S STAND: Little Bridge scores international success
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By Nicholas Godfrey
King's Stand Stakes (Group 1) 5f, 3yo+
AN international success was widely forecast in the King's Stand Stakes but perhaps not via Little Bridge (Danny Shum/Zac Purton), who became the second Hong Kong-trained horse to win at the royal meeting when flooring a cosmopolitan field for the Group 1 sprint.
After tracking the leader Tangerine Trees, the five-year-old took control of the race at the furlong marker, quickening up best of all to beat Bated Breath by three-quarters of a length with Sole Power another length away in third.
Black Caviar's jockey Luke Nolen got a useful taste of the Royal Ascot straight when partnering Medicean Man into fourth for British-based compatriot Jeremy Gask but heavily fancied Ortensia let the side down for the Aussies when she failed to mount a serious challenge.
Little Bridge, a 12-1 shot, was following in the footsteps of Cape Of Good Hope, who took the Golden Jubilee Stakes for Hong Kong when Royal Ascot took place at York in 2005.
Trained by former jockey Danny Shum and ridden by Australia's Zac Purton, Little Bridge is a New Zealand-bred son of Faltaat who had never before won above Group 2 company at home in Hong Kong.
However, he has won four Group races at lesser grade and arrived at Royal Ascot in good heart after a pair of victories at Sha Tin in April.
Little Bridge stopped the clock at 59.69s for the 5f, a good time given the good to soft ground.
The King's Stand is part of both the British Champions Series and the Global Sprint Challenge but the highest-profile overseas visitor Ortensia did little to raise Aussie hopes before Black Caviar runs on Saturday.
After sweating up in the preliminaries on a muggy afternoon, Ortensia ran well below the form of her Al Quoz Sprint victory in Dubai. She raced in the middle of the pack before finding nothing when asked for her effort and finishing only ninth of the 23 runners.
View the original article at the Racing Post