Even David Hall and Little Giant’s new owners didn’t quite know what they were buying when they purchased unbeaten New Zealand three-year-old Blackcrown over a year ago but they have a clearer picture now.
When he reappeared at Sha Tin on Sunday as Little Giant (Zac Purton), the David Hall-trained gelding was one of the most confident first-up plunges of the season before hacking up in the Class Three Indian Ocean Handicap.
A winner of two from two, Little Giant had looked the goods in his New Zealand victories and Hall was confident he would pay his way but it was a setback in November that helped unearth an even better guide.
“He was ready to go to the races but a foot problem meant that he couldn’t and then he became a horse whose form just kept improving and improving through other horses,” Hall said. “One of the horses he beat won a Group race and then there was Humidor.”
In his maiden victory, Little Giant had comfortably beaten Humidor, who thrashed the third placegetter by six lengths and that form took on some real significance after Humidor transferred to Australia and went all the way to winning the Group One Australian Cup in March.
“There was always a bit of a wrap on this horse but we didn’t know what we had until we saw how the form was working out behind him,” Hall said.
“Since he’s been here he has done everything I asked, whether in work or trials. The quarter crack in November took a bit of time to heal but I think that time did him some good.
“He’s not a big, gross horse, and having that time off allowed him to develop a little bit. I think after a run or two this season, he’ll rest again and develop even more during the summer break.”
Hall scored a double after Sam Clipperton piloted a stable stalwart Hit A Home Run to victory in the Class Five.
“He’s no star but he’s won six races, you need those horses in the stable. He’s rising eight but is sound as a bell and he’s the sort who will come back and win again next season,” Hall said.