Little Giant saluted at Group level for the first time at Sha Tin on Sunday and trainer David Hall holds out hope his lightly raced six-year-old can find enough improvement to add a top-level success to his resume next season.
Little Giant was honest as ever in winning the Group Three Sha Tin Vase (1,200m) four weeks after finishing three quarters of a length behind Beat The Clock in the Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1,200m).
That effort came at his fourth Group One start for the season and Hall hopes a good rest could bring the gelding on even further.
“When he’s only had as many starts as he has and to get where he got to, you are sort of still hopeful that there might be a little bit more there,” he said.
“He got beat two lengths [in the Hong Kong Sprint] in December and he got beat three quarters of a length the other day, so he has got a little bit closer and he’s pulled that win off today.
“He’ll just go through the traditional path leading into [international day] now and hopefully we can be there in the Group One sprint in December again.
“He’ll have a rest and we’ll concentrate on trying to find an extra two lengths from last December to this December.”
Sent out a $5.20 third elect behind hot favourite Full Of Beauty and California Fortune, Little Giant settled midfield before grabbing the lead 100m from home and winning by a length from $40 chance Dragon General.
The victory was one of six for the unstoppable Zac Purton and Hall was pleased to see Little Giant finally get his just desserts at Group level, taking his record to four wins from 10 starts in an among a raft of injury troubles.
“I’m pretty relieved that he could get the job done today, it was a bit of a testing sort of race with the big weight but he has put up two terrific performances at Group One level – a third and a fourth – so to be able to get that win, it’s great to see,” Hall said.
Richard Gibson’s Wishful Thinker ran on nicely into third at his first start since disappointing with a distant seventh in the Group One Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai in March, suggesting is close to returning to his old self after his first trip abroad.
Hall almost had a double in the final race on the card, with Fast Most Furious coming off second best in a head-bobbing finish to John Size’s Hezthewonforus.