The 2009/10 Barastoc Grand Circuit season is officially underway.
As always, the opening leg of the series starts with the running of the Gr.1 Garrards Queensland Pacing Championship - this year elevated to $200,000 in prizemoney.
For the first time this year, the Garrards Queensland Pacing Championship was transferred from it's normal home of Albion Park to the Gold Coast due to the Russ Hinze Grandstand demolition currently taking place at the Brisbane venue.
The Queensland heroes were out in force spearheaded by triple Inter Dominion champion Blacks A Fake who was looking to repel the challenge of the southern invaders headed up by millionaire grey pacer Lombo Pocket Watch and rising star Cant Bluff Me.
After Tuesday's public barrier draw, rival connections soon realised the challenge became even more difficult after Blacks A Fake landed the coveted pole position.
Blacks A Fake was always guaranteed favouritism for Queensland's biggest event but now he was at unbackable odds because of his ace draw.
The Natalie Rasmussen trained and driven superstar looked awesome winning the previous week taking out the Gr.2 $75,000 Nevele R Stud/Garrards Gold Coast Cup in dominant fashion and looked destined to gain maximum points in the opening leg.
Last season, Blacks A Fake shared honours with former North American star Mr Feelgood on the Barastoc Grand Circuit leaderboard with twelve points each.
Blacks A Fake, searching for back to back titles in the Queensland Pacing Championship after success last year was always in control after holding a spirited bid from Lombo Pocket Watch in the early stages of the 2609m event.
The son of Fake Left travelled strongly in the leading role with the Western Australian owned Washakie racing on his outside from the 2000m point with the lead time posted in 77.2 seconds.
Natalie Rasmussen delivered a stunning last mile with Blacks A Fake blazing out sectionals of 30.6, 29.0, 27.3 and 28.8 whilst his rivals were all chasing in vain.
Emerging Sydney pacer Cant Bluff Me produced a cracking Barastoc Grand Circuit debut performance after coming from last last at one point to snatch second from a gallant Washakie who fought strongly all the way to the finish line for third.
Amongst the beaten brigade, dual Miracle Mile champion Be Good Johhny battled bravely for fourth whilst rising local star Western Cam(5th) and Lombo Pocket Watch(7th) had little luck over the final stages.
The victory of Blacks A Fake certainly came as no surprise yet his adoring and loyal fan club greeted him with another warm and proud reception when he returned to the winner's enclosure for the 52nd time in his glittering career.
Blacks A Fake won officially by 3 1/4 metres in a mile rate of 1.59.0.
Rasmussen heaped praise on her champion pacer.
"He's such a good old boy, he's keener than ever currently and he's feeling fantastic" a delighted Rasmussen said after the victory.
"You wouldn't pick that he is a 9yo, he felt great over the concluding stages....Im so proud of him" Rasmussen added fondly.
A firm decision will be made within the next 72 hours on whether Blacks A Fake will make a trip across the Tasman to contest the next leg of the Barastoc Grand Circuit, the million dollar Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup on November 10 at Addington, Christchurch.