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18/07/02 Wheeler's Late Charge for Apprentice Title
r2reecewheeler.jpg (8494 bytes)Leading Melbourne apprentice Reece Wheeler is likely to look back on the past season and rue a swag of suspensions if he is to fall short in his mission to win the city's premiership for apprentice riders.

Wheeler has bridged ladder leader Mark Zahra's advantage to two with four meetings to go, after Wheeler booted home a winner in the last race at Flemington yesterday.

Terronora's win at Flemington followed last Sunday's success of La Banca at Caulfield. Wheeler will now be hoping to extend his winning city run to three when he rides at Caulfield on Saturday.

Wheeler confessed to have forgotten how many suspensions he had received during the season, and it may be enough to see him miss out on the junior title.

"I'm not sure how many (suspensions) I've had this season," Wheeler reflected. "But I'd have to say I've missed about three months of riding through it." Wheeler felt he could have been outed as many as ten times in the past twelve months.

While he was out serving his latest suspension Wheeler employed the services of a fitness expert to work on his agility and strength in the saddle.

r1markzahra.jpg (10363 bytes)"The plan is to keep the fitness levels high and then to be able to give the horses I ride every chance of success," the youngster said.

The apprentice, who is now being managed by former hoop Phil Roost, is planning to make an impact on the local scene over the spring carnival before a possible international mission.

"I have a good team of trainers behind me like Tony Noonan, Alan Bailey and Barry Burke and I'm hoping to get a few lucky breaks over the carnival," Wheeler added.

On Saturday Wheeler's early confirmed mounts include Queen Carey, Good Thing, Ruthless Tycoon, Currency Rep and should it get a run Bella Megano.

His rival Mark Zahra, who hold a two win advantage in the premiership race, is confirmed for King Wells, Flurry's Gem, El Nino, Power and Rhythm and Guest Express.

PICS - Quentin Lang.

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