Wheeler tips bold showing by Jetset Lad
Jetset Lad will head a five-pronged attack by New Plymouth trainer John Wheeler on the final two days of the New Zealand Cup carnival at Riccarton this week.
The Elusive City 5-year-old will kickoff a fresh campaign in the Group III $100,000 Lindauer Stewards Handicap (1200m) tomorrow.
Jetset Lad was spelled after a successful campaign in Queensland last winter where he finished second in three of his four races, earning connections A$100,000 (NZ$126,000).
Wheeler is thrilled with the way Jetset Lad has come up this preparation and expects a bold fresh-up run over the sprint distance.
Leading jockey Opie Bosson has been booked to ride Jetset Lad in the Stewards.
"He's got 60kg to lump, which is a bit of a crunch, but he's pretty well and I expect him to sprint well fresh," Wheeler said yesterday of the stable star.
The Group I weight-for-age Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on December 8 is likely to be Jetset Lad's next target.
The other Wheeler runners for the Riccarton meeting are Gold Cape, I Gotta Feeling, End of the Line and Double Image.
The five horses left New Plymouth on Sunday afternoon, arriving in Christchurch just before noon yesterday.
"They had a six-hour stopover in Blenheim on the way down just to break the trip up," the trainer said.
Wheeler has paid up for Jetset Lad, End of the Line, I Gotta Feeling and Double Image for tomorrow's Riccarton meeting.
However, yesterday he scratched Gold Cape from the open 2000m event, banking on the horse making the New Zealand Cup (3200m) field on Saturday.
"She might not make the field and if she doesn't, she can run in the rating 85 2500m race on Saturday instead," Wheeler said.
I Gotta Feeling has been racing well, with a 2000m rating 85 victory on her home track in between two thirds, the most recent at Ellerslie on Melbourne Cup day.
The His Royal Highness 5-year-old will contest tomorrow's open 2000m race and most likely back up in the New Zealand Cup three days later.
Wheeler has won the New Zealand Cup twice, with 50-1 shot Waltermitty in 2004 and Pentathon in 2006.
The graded 2500m race is the target for promising stayer End of the Line.
Wheeler has Double Image in the Group II Coupland's Mile (1600m) tomorrow but the winner of four of her 15 races is not a definite starter.
"I don't think I'll run her if it's a good track," he said.
"She prefers the sting out of the ground."
Double Image has had three outings after a nine-month break from racing.
She marked herself as an improver when fourth of nine runners over 1600m against rating 85 company at Awapuni on November 3