Thinkin’ Big (128lb) finished at the tail in last year’s Victorian Derby (2500m) at Flemington as favourite but the newly-acquired Frankie Lor gelding might get his chance at another Derby next March as he begins his Hong Kong career in Sunday’s Class 2 Staunton Handicap (1600m) under Umberto Rispoli.
“He’s a very nice horse, seeing his form back to Australia it’s quite interesting, obviously in Hong Kong this first step in Class 2 will be a big step,” Rispoli said.
Thinkin’ Big won two Group 3 races in Australia when trained by Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott, and was third at Group 1 level in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m). The son of High Chaparral has trialled twice on the dirt in preparation for Sunday’s race.
“The track was quite bad and with the heavy rain he probably didn’t appreciate the surface, but going on the grass I can see him being a different horse, he’s got a decent draw but Class 2 on debut is always tough,” Rispoli added.