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By Graham Potter and Matthew Grimson | Monday, May 10, 2010

Gold Coast, May 8, 2010
Track - Slow 6. Rail - out 0.5m.
Prime Minister's Cup (Quality - Listed) - 1300m.
Time: 1-17.17. (Carrying 53kg).
1 Drenalin; 2 Mr Baritone; 3 Secrets Untold.

The four-year-old gelding Drenalin provided trainer James Lyons, his wife Sharon and the whole Drenalin team with a moment to savour when he won the Listed Prime Minister’s Cup at the Gold Coast on Saturday.

It was at the instigation of his wife and her determination to give Drenalin a go that Lyons took out his trainer’s licence for a second time after previously letting it lapse. Lyons had sent Drenalin to two trainers, but the horse had not had a race start when it came back to him. The decision to take on the training responsibilities with his wife was one that set Lyons on an emotional ride to glory.

Drenalin won three out of eight starts in an extended first preparation. He was then spelled for three months and came back with what as to prove to be an important gear change. The blinkers were off for the first time when he resumed and in a short, sharp second preparation he won three out of three starts in twenty-eight days in November 2009.

Whereas the three wins in his first prep had all been achieved at the Sunshine Coast, two of his three victories in his second prep came in the city, at Eagle Farm. They were results which emphasised the rapid progress the horse was making.

Drenalin carried on that good work in his third prep, but had to settle for second place in all three starts (two Class 6 events and a Listed race - the Weetwood) leading into the Gold Coast triumph.

As jockey Chris Munce said to HRO afterwards, “All of his runs have probably suggested he was up to this grade. He just had to prove it basically and he did that. He was due for a win.”

All of that is entirely accurate, but that understates the combination of ability and determination that Drenalin brought to the occasion and the way he was able to bring those attributes into play courtesy of the fact that the stable team had him fully primed for the challenge.

It was a powerful display by Drenalin who basically had to put it in at both ends. The gelding showed enough gate speed to make light work of his wide draw. Munce chased Drenalin up to sit just off the front-running Rasmussen in the early part and he was then confident enough to move up right alongside Rasmussen to share the lead early in the sweep to the turn.

These two runners continued to match strides at the head of affairs on straightening and their battle became more intense and they as they each probed to find a weakness in each other’s armoury. It was a stamina sapping contest and, while they were hard at it, Mr Baritone began making inroads into their lead. Mr Baritone was in a clear third place for most of the straight. Behind him, the ever-game Secrets Untold was also knuckling down to his task and starting to make up ground.

With 100m left to run, Drenalin edged ahead of Rasmussen. The danger now came from both Mr Baritone and Secret Untold, both of whom were now in full cry and closing ground quickly.

Mr Baritone continued to reel in Drenalin with each passing stride, but the latter would not be denied. Drenalin’s commitment never faltered. In spite of the pressured run he had throughout the running, he kicked on all the way to the line to hold Mr Baritone by a long-head. Secrets’ Untold finished a further length back to claim third place.

It was a big win for a small stable and the result made a dream come true for the trainer.

Trainer James Lyons: “I know it’s the Prime Minister’s Cup, but it’s a dream of mine ... I don’t know what else to say.

“What am I thinking? I want to find my wife, Sharon, for a start. I just want to make sure she’s gets the credit. All credit to her. She does all the work with the horse. He’s a pleasure to train and he’s her best mate. I think you are talking to the wrong person. It’s a dream ... it’s a dream and I’m rapt.

“I’ve got to say today’s race was planned. We thought we’d have a go at today’s race and have him in the best order possible. I said to Chris (Munce) before the race ... I said, I’m that confident, but I was a bit of a mess out the back watching it.

“It was just a race I identified. He is a good back-up horse. I found a race seven days ago to get him fit and to top him up for today, so that was basically the reason behind it. He’s backed up three times and he just wins everytime.

“Yeah, look it is a big team effort. It was a shame Brad Stewart couldn’t ride him today because he has been so good with the horse. He would have been here today if he didn’t get time. Brad phoned me yesterday and he said, mate, I think he is going to be right up to his eyeballs in it.

“Yeah, it’s been quite a ride. I had a trainer’s license, but I let it lapse. I’m a real estate agent so I let it lapse. I’d had it for years. Went into real estate, but my wife thought it was a good idea if we take on this horse again and get my licence back.

“Originally I sent this horse to Liam Birchley and Gerald Ryan. He didn’t start for them. He had a few issues the horse. We gave him a bit of time off and just thought we’d have a go at him ... just to see what happened.

“Like a say, it’s been an absolute dream but, no, it doesn’t make me want to go and get more horses. Not at all. That will be the one I’ve got. I’ve got a business to run.

“Where to now? He is nominated for the Stradbroke. To be quite honest I thought he was an Eye-liner ... Glasshouse horse. He has been screaming for seven furlongs. I targeted today’s race first and I thought if we could win that we would reassess the our situation and that’s just what we will do now.”

Jockey Chris Munce: “He was going well. He just put himself in a very good position outside the leader.

“He was probably going a little bit solid from the 700 but, you know, he was very fit today. He was on the quick back-up and he was due for a win anyway.

“It was good. His form had been very good. It was a bit of a step up in grade today, but all of his runs have probably suggested he was up to this grade. He just had to prove it basically and he did that. Everything else had their chance to run him down and they couldn’t.

“He is a nice horse. He covers a good bit of ground and he is a nice mover, so there could be better races in store for him.”

Winner (Drenalin): 4.80 out to 6.50.
Favourite (Cornwall Park): 4.40 out to 5.00 in to 4.20. Finished sixth.

Borsha's Warrior (JP Stanley) which jumped away awkwardly was tightened for room between Secrets Untold (S Katsidis) and Mr Baritone (M Zahra) which was taken in by Cornwall Park (S Seamer).

Rampant Lion (S Scriven) and Borsha's Warrior (JP Stanley) raced wide throughout the event.

When questioned as to the performance of Cornwall Park, Jockey S Seamer stated that the horse over-raced today and due to this it did not finish the race off. Jockey Seamer also indicted that Cornwall Park may be better suited being stepped up to 1600m.

Trainer A Bailey stated that the horse was somewhat stirred up today which is not normal for the

When questioned as to the performance of Rampant Lion, Jockey S Scriven explained that the gelding was under pressure from the 600m and he elected in the home straight to shift wider on the track in an attempt to improve his position.

Jockey Scriven added that Rampant Lion was disappointing and he failed to ride the gelding out over the final 100m as he formed the opinion that something was amiss with the gelding.

A post-race veterinary examination of Rampant Lion revealed the gelding to be lame in the off-fore leg. Trainer L Gough was advised that he must provide a veterinary certificate of fitness before Rampant Lion again races.

When questioned as to the performance of Baqaba, Jockey L Cassidy explained that he attempted to improve his position from the 600m however Baqaba didn't quicken as he expected and in his view the run of the gelding was disappointing. A post-race veterinary examination of Baqaba revealed no apparent abnormalities.

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