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  • Provincial Racing NSW


FORMER Newcastle apprentice Bailey Wheeler will link with two local trainers at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.

Mark Minervini has booked the now Brisbane-based Wheeler for Diamond Model in the Benchmark 72 Handicap (1100m), and Jason Deamer has secured him for African Daisy (Benchmark 78 Handicap, 1200m) and Decadent Tale (Benchmark 78 Handicap, 1800m).

Wheeler, who began his career with leading Newcastle trainer Kris Lees before relocating to Brisbane, rode his 189thwinner on Midnight In Tokyo at Doomben on Wednesday.

“Because of the Brisbane winter carnival where it is obviously difficult for a claiming apprentice to secure rides, Bailey’s manager has advised that he will be switching to Sydney for the next four Saturdays,” Minervini said on Thursday morning.

“He had only one or two rides for me without any luck when he was here with Kris, and there’s no doubt he is a very good young jockey.

“I was happy to put him on Diamond Model, who is resuming and his 2kg allowance will be handy.”

Diamond Model hasn’t raced since early December, but the former Victorian mare has an excellent first-up record, having won twice from four attempts.

Minervini has three Rosehill acceptors, and will welcome forecast rain for the trio.

“Diamond Model was placed twice in town in October and November at her first preparation for me, and has had two nice trials in readiness for her resumption,” he said.

Blake Spriggs will ride the trainers’ other Rosehill runners, Smiling Prophet (Midway Benchmark 72 Handicap, 1100m) and Hosier (Listed Lord Mayors Cup, 1800m).

Smiling Prophet is in good form, having beaten her own sex in a Wyong Benchmark 64 Handicap (1100m) on May 2 before a gallant fourth under 62kg to In Flight in a similar race at Gosford a fortnight later.

“Aaron Bullock rode her at Gosford, and said she was anchored by the big weight,” Minervini said.

“She has been racing well on heavy tracks, and drops 7kg at Rosehill.”

Whilst Hosier has been unplaced at both runs this year, Minervini is enthusiastic he can show a return to form on Saturday, especially if the rain arrives for the renowned wet tracker.

Hosier ran 14th to fellow Novocastrian Sky Lab in the Listed Scone Cup (1600m) on May 17 at his latest start.

“I thought he ran well,” Minervini said. “He drew awkwardly, and was with them until the last 200m when his condition blew out.

“The track was firm even thought it was rated a ‘Soft 5’, and he has definitely taken nice improvement from that race.”


Newcastle jockey Koby Jennings again rides his Scone Cup winner Sky Lab in the Lord Mayors Cup, and is looking to bow out of NSW racing on a triumphant note.

Jennings is returning to his native Victoria with his partner Nerissa and two young children to continue his career, and this will be his last day of riding before heading south.

The winner of 451 races, the 29-year-old farewells Sydney racing at the track where he achieved his greatest success; the 2020 $7.5m Golden Eagle (1500m) on Godolphin mare Colette.

Story John Curtis, May 30, 2024 - Pics Bradley Photos

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