James Lyons has locked in his decision for this weekend with Drenalin set to start at home on the Sunshine Coast instead of travelling south.
Drenalin was a dual acceptor for both the Glasshouse Handicap at Caloundra and the Civic Stakes at Rosehill Gardens.
Lyons said it was a tough choice between the two but in the end it probably came down to the fact that staying put was an easier option without really sacrificing anything.
“I had a good look at both races, the program behind the Civic Stakes was to possibly stay down for the Winter Stakes,” he said.
“The way the Glasshouse field has panned out and the weather conditions it’s worked out for us.”
While the vast majority of his runs have come on a good surface, Lyons believes the horse will benefit more from a wet track on race day.
To date he’s had just five starts on slow or worse with two wins and a placing.
One of his career best victories was on a slow surface though, in the Prime Minister’s Cup on the Gold Coast in 2010 he took care of a good quality field.
“The Sunshine Coast somehow when the suns out it still seems to be on the dead side,” he said.
“As soon as this rain hits it now I think anyone doing the form will want to be looking at the mud runners.”
The five year old gelding comes into this race with just two runs to his credit this preparation.
He ran in the Chief De Beers first up at Doomben and struggled home for seventh but ran a bit better last start in the Eye Liner at Ipswich to come home third.
Lyons says he takes a bit out of that run because the horse showed him he wasn’t at full fitness.
” I thought I had him perfect in the Eye Liner but he certainly raced like a horse that was one short,” he said.
“The two runs in have certainly done my horse the world of good.”
That’s the major plus side Lyons see’s about this race, the vast majority of main chances are treating this as the final run of much longer campaigns.
” No doubt he’s on the up, the way he’s been trained and the way the prep has unfolded.”
On paper one main downside is the wide barrier draw however Lyons says if it rains it won’t be as much of an issue given the way wet races are run on the Sunshine Coast.
“We’ve drawn 16… everyone is going to be chasing the middle of the ground there, the fence is no good and out wide is no good,” he said.
Drenalin comes into the race with a solid career record, he’s started in 23 events for eight wins and seven places.
His last win was at Caulfield last year and he’s proven himself at black type level on a number of occasions.