A race that has been dominated by Australian horses for a decade grew to become the property of an expatriate Queensland jockey at Royal Ascot on Tuesday.
Zac Purton, who has ridden in Hong Kong for the past five years, followed the trail of such horses as Choisir, Takeover Target, Miss Andretti and Scenic Blast by winning the G1 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) on Small Bridge.
Offered a best ride, Minor Bridge (12-1) surged to the front at the 200m and held on strongly to beat the nearby sprinter Bated Breath by 3-quarters-of-a-length.
Getting his very first ride in Britain, Purton declared Small Bridge the equal of any horse he’s ridden
“He’s up there with the best I’ve been on and he’s provided me a excellent thrill,” Purton said.
“It indicates everything to me to come right here and ride a winner.
“It’s every single jockey’s dream to ride a winner at Royal Ascot.”
Purton stated Minor Bridge’s straight track ability and his own familiarity with the horse had created the victory all the easier.
“Since I’ve ridden him a great deal I knew exactly what he’d got left and when I pressed the button he kicked nicely,” he said.
Australian runner Ortensia completed ninth after looming at the 300m mark but failing to run on.