Locals Strike in APG Grand Circuit Opener

25 October 2015 | Chris Barsby
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Victory: Our Hi Jinx and Greg Sugars claim the opening leg of the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season, the $200,000 QPC at Albion Park

Victory: Our Hi Jinx and Greg Sugars claim the opening leg of the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season, the $200,000 QPC at Albion Park Photo by Dan Costello (The Racing Wrap)

The 2015/16 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season is officially underway.

And it’s started with a bang.

The Gr.1 $200,000 Garrards Queensland Pacing Championship staged at Albion Park in Brisbane was taken out by New Zealand bred gelding Our Hi Jinx ($9.50) who defeated Caesars Folly ($51.10) and Avonnova ($13.90) in the sunshine state’s biggest event.

Prepared locally by Ian Gurney, Our Hi Jinx was handled by Victorian reinsman Greg Sugars who replaced the suspended Adam Sanderson and drove a brilliant tactical race to claim the 2680 feature in track record time of 1;55.0 – eclipsing the previous mark of 1;55.9 held by Mr Feelgood from 2010.

Race favourite Philadelphia Man ($1.40) finished 9th after being forced to work hard from his wide draw.

Driven aggressively off the gate from the start, Sugars controlled the early going with Our Hi Jinx with Caesars Folly in the trail while Alleluia and Monifieth jostled early for handy positions.

As the field worked past the mile marker, Our Hi Jinx took cover behind his stablemate Avonnova while Bling It On and Shannonsablast also made forward moves.

The lead time was posted in 77.5 seconds.

With Avonnova leading the way, Philadelphia Man made his move but was forced to cover plenty of extra ground in very quick sectionals.

The first half of the final mile was covered in 28.9 and 28 seconds.

Heading down the back straight on the final occasion, Avonnova maintained a solid tempo with Philadelphia Man working on his outside while Our Hi Jinx sat directly behind them.

The third quarter was posted in 28.6 seconds.

In the straight, Avonnova kicked clear from Philadelphia Man while Our Hi Jinx and Caesars Folly darted back to the sprintlane.

Our Hi Jinx lasted by a half neck margin from Caesars Folly with a further 5 metres back to Avonnova in third.

The final quarter was timed in 28.6 seconds.

“We couldn’t have wished for a better trip and he travelled comfortably throughout, the solid speed suited him and he zipped quickly once we got the run via the inside. Ian (Gurney) was really happy with him going into the event and that gave me good confidence, he’s a neat little horse with really good speed.” Winning driver Greg Sugars said.

The 2015 Queensland spring carnival has proven to be quite the windfall for Our Hi Jinx with victories in the Be Good Johnny Sprint and now the QPC.

The Christian Cullen – Treasured Possession gelding was also placed in the Gold Coast Cup last week.

Our Hi Jinx is raced by Gurney, Paul Montgomery and the Fleur De Lil Trust.

The next leg of the Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit is the $750,000 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup at Addington on November 10.