Wheeler hoping to change Sydney Cup luck

Beaudz Well
John Wheeler has Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) ambitions with Beaudz Well. Photo: Trish Dunell

Accomplished Taranaki stayer Beaudz Well returns to action on Friday to kick off a long-term plan to hopefully conclude unfinished business in Australia in the autumn for trainer John Wheeler.

The son of Zed will open his campaign in the Group 3 Powerworx Taranaki Cup (2000m), a race to set him on a path toward the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 9.

“I’m aiming him at the autumn racing in Sydney if he comes up well enough. I’d love to have a crack at the Sydney Cup, I haven’t won one yet and have run second a couple of times,” Wheeler said.

The respected New Plymouth trainer first went close in the staying feature in 1996 when The Bandette finished runner-up to Count Chivas and 12 years later Pentathon beat all but No Wine No Song.

The Bandette was a versatile performer who won the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield and at home the son of Noble Bijou claimed the Group 3 Thompson Handicap (1600m) at Trentham.

By Pentire, Pentathon’s major domestic success was a victory in the Group 2 New Zealand Cup (3200m), a race Beaudz Well went close to winning last spring when a close second behind Mondorani.

Beaudz Well is a raced by a syndicate that includes star All Black Beauden Barrett and aside from his four career victories, he has also placed at Listed level in the New Zealand St Leger (2600m), the Staphanos Classic (1950m) and the Metropolitan Trophy Handicap (2500m).

The latter outing served as his lead-up to the Cup, after which he was given a break.

Wheeler believes the five-year-old is forward enough to give a good account of himself in the Taranaki Cup, to be run at Awapuni following the abandonment of Saturday’s New Plymouth meeting.

“He had close enough to a month off after Riccarton and he’ll be fit enough,” Wheeler said. “I’m very happy with the way he is going.”

Barnmate Pinsk will also be a decent chance for the stable at Awapuni when she chases an overdue breakthrough success in the Ash Diaries/Dave Wenham Memorial (1400m).

The four-year-old has yet to finish out of the money in six appearances and overcame a slow start when resuming at Otaki last month to rally late for fourth.

“She’s not a bad horse, but just doesn’t get it quite right. She’s a nice mare and probably needs more ground, 2000 metres will be her go,” Wheeler said. “She’s by Pins out of a staying mare (Princessabeel, by Savabeel).”

While Wheeler may not be expecting fireworks from debutante Miss Rainey in the Angela O’Donnell Property Brokers/Manawatu Spreaders ‘3’ (1400m), he believes that she has a bright future.

“She goes well and probably can’t win this one, there’s a couple of good horses in it. She’s by Vadamos and a staying type and I do like her,” he said.

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