Monday’s meeting at Port Macquarie was dominated by apprentices, namely Bailey Wheeler.
The 17-year-old landed a treble on the seven-race-program, bringing up his 30th career winner in the process.
Wheeler, who only rode his first winner back in November, has started 229 times and is riding at a 13.1% win rate, which is not bad for a youngster who is only new to the industry and race riding.
At Port Macquarie, Wheeler kicked off his day riding Askebar ($3.80) to victory for Kris Lees in the 1208m Maiden Plate, beating fellow apprentice Cejay Graham, who finished second on Crystal’s Legacy for trainer John Sprague.
Two races later and the young jockey had his second winner when guiding the Nathan Doyle-trained Crimson Rock ($5) to victory in the 1008m Class Two Handicap, and another apprentice in Patrick Scorse finished third on the Paul Perry-trained Reuben James.
Wheeler then sealed his treble when jumping aboard the Paul Shailer-trained Whatever I Say ($2) to win the 1208m Benchmark 58 Handicap.
The popular apprentice, who is under the guidance of Kris Lees, almost had a fourth winner when riding Topender for his boss in the 1512m Maiden Handicap, but it took another apprentice to beat him, with Madi Derrick, who was also riding for Lees, winning on Ella Te Ama ($5.50), winning by 0.15 of a length from Topender and Wheeler.
Jasper Franklin joined the winning ranks at Port Macquarie too, winning on the John Sprague-trained Whatyoulookingat ($2.90) on the 1008m Benchmark 66 Handicap, beating fellow apprentice Cejay Graham and her mount Poita for Colt Prosser by 1.42 lengths.
Monday was a good day in general for apprentices, with Reece Jones riding a Scone double.
The young hoop combined with Cameron Crockett in the 900m Maiden Handicap, winning aboard Lady Rupert ($3) before combining with his boss Rod Northam to win the 1100m Class One Handicap aboard Overextend ($17).
There is a lot of racing this week, and local and visiting apprentices will get another chance to shine at Port Macquarie on Sunday, with the club hosting a seven-race Sky 1 meeting.