by Chris Barsby
Leading reinsman Greg Sugars has fond memories of Albion Park.
And with good reason.
The last time the Victorian based driver headed to the famed Breakfast Creek racetrack, he walked away with the state’s biggest event.
Sugars answered an ‘SOS’ call from trainer Ian Gurney and took the winning drive behind Our Hi Jinx in the 2015 Gr.1 $200,000 Queensland Pacing Championship.
The race was discontinued following that edition.
But now Sugars returns to the Sunshine State chasing the Gr.1 $200,000 UBET Blacks A Fake Queensland Championship, the final leg of the 2016/17 Australian Pacing Gold Grand Circuit season.
He will partner star pacer Major Crocker in the 2680m feature.
“I’m looking forward to heading back to Brisbane this weekend and I think we’ve got an excellent chance, his draw is ideal and his form is very good so hopefully we can land the prize.” Sugars said.
Major Crocker has drawn gate three but will start from two if the emergency doesn’t secure a start.
The Art Major gelding hasn’t started since finishing a close-up 7th behind My Field Marshal in the Len Smith Mile at TABCORP Park, Menangle on June 25.
Sugars, a winner of 34 Group One races believes the Vince Vallelonga trainee is ready to land his biggest prize yet.
And he set to play an intriguing role given his early speed; will he hold the lead or take the trail behind race favourite Tiger Tara?
“We’ve got options and I’ll discuss it with Vince before the race. He didn’t have much room last start in Sydney and the gap between runs won’t bother him, I know Vince believes spacing his runs as he gets a little older is best for him now.
“Some of his best efforts have been when he’s fresh up, we should end up in a good position from the draw and the distance will suit him. He ran very well in this event last year.
“Tiger Tara looks hardest to best from his draw while the Aiken runners (Lennytheshark & Hectorjayjay) will be tough to beat plus My Field Marshal, he’s the form horse of the Australian winter and he looked very good last week.”
Earlier this season, Major Crocker finished second behind New Zealand star Lazarus in the Victoria Cup at Melton.
Major Crocker is rated as a $16 chance with UBET.
Hoofnote; Only Gavin Lang, Chris Alford, Luke McCarthy, Gary Hall Jnr and Mark Purdon have driven more Group One winners in Australia than Sugars.
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