David Hall missed out with Penang Hall on Sunday but the gelding should atone for that next time and the yard looks to have another coming winner in four-year-old Intrepic.
Penang Hall has been frustrating for the trainer, running terrific races from the back when he has drawn wide recently and he finally drew a gate on Sunday and had to chase home a handy type in G-One Lover giving him 23 pounds in the saddle.
G-One Lover got a pleasant time in front with his light weight and kept running, while Penang Hall probably ran as well as he is capable of running.
He charged home for second, closing out in the third best final 400m sectional of the day with his big weight, even though he was beaten two lengths in second place.
The handicapper gave him a point for the effort, pushing him up a grade, but don’t be put off by that – Penang Hall is right up to winning in Class Three and now the boot will be on the other foot, with the six-year-old at the foot of the weights and getting pounds off his rivals.
Two races later, Intrepic showed big improvement on his debut down the straight and the keys to it looked like the move up to 1,200m and the application of blinkers.
In his previous career, Intrepic won three of his four starts in country and provincial areas of Australia and always wore blinkers in those runs.
He reacted well to having the shades again on Sunday in a fast-run race and ultimately finished less than two lengths from Apache Spirit in sixth place.
There were no excuses, but that wasn’t all that Intrepic has to offer, just a transition run from his first-up failure to where he is going from here on.
He is no star but he’s going to pay his way and the final piece of the puzzle should be when Hall steps him up further in distance, as his wins in Australia came at distances from 1,300m to 1,425m and he was even tried and placed at 1,600m.