Classy Flat performer High Jinx made a successful debut over jumps at the age of 10 when taking the Principal & Prosper Novices’ Hurdle in cosy fashion at Kelso.
The son of High Chaparral had not graced the winner’s enclosure since lifting the Group One Prix du Cadran for James Fanshawe in October 2014.
He had run several fine races since joining Tim Easterby stable, including when a close third in the 2017 Yorkshire Cup, and finally got his head in front when trying a new discipline.
Easterby had been waiting for the ground to dry out to try him over hurdles, but had been able to give High Jinx a run on the Flat at Ripon last last month.
It paid dividends as High Jinx drew clear from the final two flights to beat Hills Of Connemara by nine lengths. The third horse, the evens favourite Calix Delafayette, was 36 lengths away.
It was a first win over jumps for rider Connor King.
“We’ve been waiting for the good ground to come because he’s been ready all winter,” said Easterby.
“He’s a class horse and he’s not done a lot of racing. What do you do with horses like him?
“We’ll stick to good tracks where there is good ground. We’ll run him over hurdles again, possibly, and we might put him back on the Flat. It does them good a bit of a freshen up sometimes. We’ll see.”
He added: “He’s been super schooling and Connor King has been schooling him at home. He deserves a chance, he’s a good rider.
“He’s been riding out here all winter and been a really good member of our team this year. He’s been based with Brian Ellison, but has been riding here a bit and that’s his first jumps winner.”
Easterby reports his Classic hopeful Wells Farhh Go to be on course to make his seasonal debut in the Betfred Dante Stakes at York next week.
The unbeaten son of Farhh is set to return to the scene of the second of his two victories, which came in the Acomb Stakes in August.
“Wells Farhh Go is in good order. He worked well this morning,” said the North Yorkshire handler.
“He did a good piece of work and we’re very happy with him. If everything goes right, he should be going to York.”