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Little Bridge lands King’s Stand for Hong Kong

19 Jun 2012

A fantastic day for Hong Kong trainer Danny Shum on the opening day of Royal Ascot, when his pride and joy, Little Bridge, won the second QIPCO British Champions sprint, the King's Stand Stakes

Little Bridge beats Bated Breath in the King’s Stand Stakes on day one of Royal Ascot. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Little Bridge, Hong Kong’s top sprinter, followed in the footsteps of Cape Of Good Hope, who won the Golden Jubilee Stakes in 2005, by winning one of Royal Ascot’s top sprints.

It was, however, the first Hong Kong horse to win at Ascot as Cape Of Good Hope’s victory was at York when the Royal Meeting was transferred there during Ascot’s redeveleopment.

Always prominent, Little Bridge led over a furlong out in the five-furlong King’s Stand Stakes and was always holding the late challenges of Bated Breath and Sole Power, who had finished first and second in the opening Series sprint, the betfred.com Temple Stakes.

The winning jockey, Australian Zac Purton, said: "He travelled like the winner the whole way and I was always confident.

"When I came up the rise, I knew I had a lot of horse left and I knew it would take a good one to beat me.

"Danny and I both came here pretty confident in the horse, so we expected something anyway.

"Hopefully it is just the start of a good week for Australians."

The winning trainer said: "I’m very happy and Zac did a very good job.

"My team have done a really fantastic job and I don’t know how to say how happy I am.

"I planned to come half a year ago as I love to come to England.

"I really like this country and I really like my horses to win in this country."

Roger Charlton said of Bated Breath’s run on ground that would have been a little slower than he would have preferred: "He’s so consistent and runs so well in Group One company but James (Doyle, jockey) said he just couldn’t quicken on that ground.

"Funnily enough, I thought he was going to win a furlong out but he just could not quicken.

"All options are open, including the July Cup, but if the ground came up quick on Saturday and he was all right, I would consider running him (in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes)."

Edward Lynam, trainer of Sole Power, said: "He’s run very well. I walked the course at 12.30pm and I thought the ground was not bad enough to pull out.

"I don’t want to take anything away from the others, but a better draw might have helped.

"He will have a break now and come back for the Nunthorpe and the Abbaye."