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Wheeler targeting Stradbroke
19 Mar 2013

Group One performer Jetset Lad (NZ) (Elusive City) is his own worst enemy, but John Wheeler believes he’s found the ideal race to bring out the best in the versatile performer.

The Sistema Railway Stakes runner-up is being readied for a return to the Queensland winter carnival where the Taranaki trainer has consistently plundered prestige events, most notably with the great Rough Habit.

Jetset Lad (NZ) (Elusive City)

Placed three times at stakes level from four Brisbane appearances in 2012, Jetset Lad will be set for the Gr.1 A$1 million Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on June 8.

“He’s the author of his own destiny and he’s got a gorgeous nature everywhere except on raceday when he really gets aggressive,” Wheeler said. “Generally it’s his own fault, but he’s a really good horse and he’s right up there with Veyron and company.

“When he sees daylight you can’t hold him so the Stradbroke will suit him ideally – they go hard from start to finish and when he’s in that cruise mode he can find the line.”

Wheeler speaks with authority on the Stradbroke having saddled Rough Habit to win the race in 1991 and 1992.

A five-time winner from 33 appearances, Jetset Lad hasn’t raced since he dead-heated for third in the defence last month of his Gr.3 Hookers Taranaki Cup title.

“He’s out doing hill work with my jumpers,” Wheeler said. “He enjoys that and he’s done a couple of weeks and he’ll do two more before I get him back.”

He is quietly marshalling his troops for the Brisbane carnival with Gold Cape, Double Image, I Gotta Feeling and recent Ellerslie winner Juliann all in line to make the trip.