Grafton welcomes Shoot Out
WHEN one-time Grafton apprentice jockey Dan Wheeler needed somewhere to house his star gelding yesterday, he looked no further than his former home.
Five years after leaving John Shelton’s stable, Wheeler returned with Saturday’s AJC Derby winner Shoot Out for a brief stop-over on his way back to Queensland.
It is less than a week since the John Wallace-trained gelding, ridden by Stathi Katsidis, held off some of the nation’s best during Australian Derby Day.
“He normally needs a rest on the way home,” Wheeler said yesterday from Shelton’s stable.
“I ring John once or twice a week and have a chat to him about things so we stay in touch.
“I said to John on the way home I have got to stop there.
“And a couple of John’s owners have come and had a look.”
As for the gruelling ride back over the border, it proved no worries for the laidback three-year-old, who showed its staying power in claiming the $1.3m payday at Randwick.
“He loves it,” Wheeler said of Shoot Out, who now boasts five wins from 11 starts.
“He loves the attention and the feed. He doesn’t move when travelling.
“It’s just his nature. It’s probably got a lot to do with why he’s so good.”
Shoot Out left town at about 3pm yesterday, enroute to Queensland.