Former Emerald based apprentice jockey Ty Wheeler.
Former Emerald based apprentice jockey Ty Wheeler.

Why CQ miner walked away from 6-figure job

FORMER Emerald based apprentice jockey Ty Wheeler backed up his big Chinchilla win with an even bigger effort at Esk in the South East Queensland corner.

He combined with former Emerald boy Tommy Button on Whoo Hoo girl ($2.25 favourite) to take out the first race on the program.

Whoo hoo girl is raced and 100 per cent owned by Button making the result a big one for him.

Wheeler made it a race to race double when combining with Toowoomba trainer John Thomas in race two on Roots’n’Rocks ($2.00 favourite) who was given a steer of a more senior hoop with Wheeler making it look all to easy.

Wheeler saved the best for last taking out one of the feature races on the program for leading Toowoomba trainer Donald Baker on Divine Miss Boom who was cuddled by Wheeler from a wide draw in a masterful ride.

The former protege of Glenda Bell from her Hogan road stable, Wheeler a natural light weight who can ride as low as he almost wants has the rare luxury of eating whatever he wants.

Bell puts his strength to ride a horse right down to that. She said her weekly shopping bill had dramatically decreased along with her time in the kitchen and stated Ty ate like a lumber jack not a jockey.

Bell said she was not one bit surprised he had hit the ground running and backed up last weeks efforts with three winners at Esk.

From his past six rides he has ridden four winners with a strike rate of 66 per cent.

Wheeler, who left a six figure salary in the coal industry driving three storey high, 360-tonne dump trucks in the Bowen Basin to pursue his career as a jockey, is paying dividends after a dramatic drop in weekly pay.

He is putting his best foot forward and Bell said he had a very good work ethic in and around the stables and nothing was ever an issue in his time at her stables as an apprentice.

Wheeler’s career was delayed by several months when he was left to watch one of his master’s (John Thomas) horses.

Wheeler was kicked in the back by a passing horse leaving him with cracked ribs, a lacerated kidney, and a five-day stay in hospital and five weeks of light duties.

It kicked him to the back of the stall and thankfully the horse in the stall was pretty quiet and didn’t stomp him.

Wheeler’s ‘no fear, tough as boots’ attitude had him back in the saddle in five weeks.

He is hoping to gain his provincial licence and more opportunities come along for him.

The racing action heads to the Emerald Jockey Club on July 26 when the club will host a non-TAB patron free meeting due to COVID-19 restrictions.


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