Trainer David Hall was not the least bit perturbed by a two-week wait for Little Giant to make a successful dirt debut and land the Australian his 400th winner in Hong Kong.
“The press has been there all along to remind me that I was sitting on 399 for a while but I can’t say it has been playing on my mind,” Hall said. “I don’t measure what I’m doing by those sorts of milestones but I guess it’s good to get it over with.”
Part of a winning double on the dirt for jockey Zac Purton, who also won for Danny Shum Chap-shing on former French horse Spotlight Dream at his first local run, Little Giant was again backed as if unbeatable before making it two wins from three runs here.
“It might have surprised a few people to see him resuming on the dirt but it was never an issue in my mind,” Hall said.
“He had yielding track form, he had worked and trialled well on the surface every time he’d been put on it. There was never a question he would handle the dirt although I guess people look in form guides and it says he hasn’t won on the dirt – well now he has, so now he’s a dirt horse.
“I had planned to run him first-up on the turf but due to bad weather he had to miss a trial and the plans changed and I decided we’d come to the dirt instead.”
Little Giant sat parked behind the leaders, Happy Meteor and Pablosky, to the home turn before he managed to do what was not easy yesterday and actually pass another horse on the dirt track.
He arrived in the final 100m to beat Pablosky but the win wasn’t without its hairy moments for punters who took the odds-on.
“I thought it was a pretty good win actually – he got cleaned up on the bend then nearly cleaned up again as he went inside Pablosky in the straight and he had to be tough to win,” Hall said.
“That old Pablosky is a bit of a warhorse and isn’t easy to get past so I was pretty impressed with that and they put a big gap on the rest.’