Former Queensland Oaks team to toast Eye Liner victory

It may not be as big as their Queensland Oaks victory with Mon Mekki, but trainer Gerald Ryan and jockey Paul Hammersley hope to celebrate a Listed Eye Liner Stakes win with Adnocon at Ipswich on Saturday.

Hammersley served his apprenticeship with Ryan but has rarely ridden for the Sydney trainer since Ryan quit the Gold Coast several years to move to Rosehill.

The pair landed their biggest win together with Mon Mekki in the Group One Queensland Oaks in 2002 when Hammersley became the first apprentice to win the filly’s feature since Jim Andrews won on Bright Shadow in 1968.
Hammersley returned to the Gold Coast at the start of the season following six months in Macau where he rode 15 winners including Jazza Bell in the Group Two The Director’s Cup (1500m).

Ryan is hoping Hammersley’s engagement will break his Eye Liner Stakes drought after Gullcatcher finished second to Suzy Grey in 2003 and Shivirgo was runner-up to Proudly Agro the following year.

Adnocon has won six times in 27 starts and was rated good enough by Ryan for a shot at the Group Two Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick in December.

The four-year-old ran a solid race to finish ninth, less than three lengths from the winner Palacio De Cristal.

Ryan freshened Adnocon before a crack at the Magic Millions Stayer’s Cup (1800m) at the Gold Coast in January.

The son of Clang produced another strong performance to finish third to Hidden Wonder and was spelled to prepare for the winter.

Adnocon confirmed a trip to Brisbane for the winter when scoring on a rain-affected track first-up at Canterbury last month and maintained his unbeaten record this campaign with a comfortable win at Caloundra last start.

“His two wins this time in have been very good but this is a step up in class for him,” Ryan said.

“I’ve run second in this race a couple of times with Gullcatcher and Shivirgo and from his good draw (three) Adnocon has a good chance.”

Ryan rates Newcastle sprinter Prince Braeman and local Drenalin as the two main threats to Adnocon.

Trainer Paul Perry sent Prince Braeman to Brisbane for the winter hoping to qualify the five-year-old for last week’s Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) at Eagle Farm.

However, Prince Braeman only made it into the field as third emergency and missed a start in the Group One feature won for the second time by Black Piranha.

Prince Braeman justified Perry’s decision to send him north when the son of Mossman scored a convincing win in the Listed Chief De Beers (1110m) at Doomben last month.

It took his record to nine wins from 27 starts with prizemoney earnings of more than $385,000.

Drenalin showed he was up to Listed level by winning the Prime Minister’s Cup (1300m) at the Gold Coast last month.

He subsequently finished third to Beaded in the Group Three BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben before a last-start 10th to Catapulted in the Group Two QTC Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on June 5.