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NZ-Bred Little Bridge Wins UK Gr1 King's Stand
Also in the UK overnight, NZ Westbury Stud stallion Faltaat (Mr Prospector-Epitome, by Summing) added a Gr1 triumph when NZ-bred 5YO gelding Little Bridge (Faltaat-Golden Rose, by Gold Brose) scored a 0.75-length victory in the £350,000 (A$560,000) Gr1 King's Stand Stakes (5 furlongs) at Royal Ascot (see VIDEO CORNER at bottom right). Little Bridge (ridden by Australian jockey Zac Purton for Hong Kong trainer Danny Shum) defeated 5YO entires Bated Breath (Dansili-Tantina, by Distant View) & Sole Power (Kyllachy-Demerger, by Distant View). Winning jockey Zac Purton declared: "He travelled like a winner the whole way. I always thought it would take a good one to beat him. Danny Shum & I both came here confident in the horse. Hopefully it's the start of a good week for the Australians." Little Bridge (a NZ$9,000 weanling at the 2007 NZB National Sale) took his record to 10 wins (also including both April's HK Gr2 Sprint Cup over 1200m at Sha Tin Gr3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy over 1000m at Sha Tin, plus 2011's Gr2 International Sprint Trial over 1200m at Sha Tin, Gr2 Cathay Pacific Jockey Club Sprint over 1200m at Sha Tin & Gr3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup over 1400m at Sha Tin) & 3 placings (including 2011's Gr2 Premier Bowl Handicap over 1200m at Sha Tin & 2010's Gr2 International Sprint Trial over 1200m at Sha Tin) from 20 starts for £1,090,219 (A$1.744m) earnings. Among the beaten brigade, Black Caviar's Australian jockey Luke Nolen "got a useful taste of the Royal Ascot straight when partnering Medicean Man into 4th 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" reported racingpost.com. "After sweating-up in the preliminaries on a muggy afternoon" Australian trainer Paul Messara's dual Gr1-winning 6YO mare Ortensia (Testa Rossa-Aerate's Pick, by Picnicker) "ran well below the form of her Gr1 Al Quoz Sprint victory in Dubai. She raced in the middle of the pack before finding nothing when asked for her effort & finishing only 9th of the 22 runners."