Teenage hoop Bailey Wheeler hits the ground running in Queensland

Teenage hoop Bailey Wheeler has set his ambitions high for his new move to the Sunshine State.

Still just 17 years of age and in his second season of riding, the talented youngster has recently made the move north and kicked off proceedings in perfect fashion on Saturday afternoon at Aquis Park.

The lightweight jockey has transferred his apprenticeship to Brisbane trainer Chris Anderson and is setting himself some lofty goals for the new move.

"I think I can be one of the best apprentices up here and hopefully win the apprentice's provincial jockeys title next season," Wheeler said on Monday morning.

"I may as well put my goals high and chase them.

"That is my main aim.

"This season has got away from me a bit but next season I really want to target that provincial premiership."

Previously riding for Kris Less out of Newcastle, Wheeler has picked up just over 60 winners on the country circuit in NSW and was searching for a new home to purse his provincial interests in the next stage of his apprenticeship.

He began his Queensland journey with a winner at the Gold Coast on the all new Polytrack on Saturday, saluting on race favourite Reality in Benchmark 65 grade for his new boss Anderson on Saturday afternoon. 

Anderson is set to provide the emerging hoop with the majority of his opportunities in his new venture, taking six rides for the barn from his nine engagements over the last three days.

He is hopeful that securing a winner in his first weekend in the Sunshine State will see support from other stable's will soon follow.

Wheeler struck the partnership with Anderson by chance, ringing the Eagle Farm trainer out of the blue and inquiring about making the move north.

"I have nearly out-rode my country claim – I think I have got 18 winners left – and I thought provincial races up here in Queensland are very targetable for me," Wheeler said.

"I thought it would be a good move so I decided to come up here.

"It has been good win so far, I have got a kick along straight away, riding a winner on Saturday.

"I wanted to start fresh and Chris was happy to take me."

The three-kilogram claimer on the provincial circuit is still likely to visit NSW while being based in Brisbane, set to ride at Grafton this Friday afternoon.

Wheeler is one of the younger jockeys in the riding ranks in Australia, collecting his maiden victory in the saddle as a 16 year old.

The Grafton product began riding track work at 14 years of age and was keen to follow the path to race riding ever since.

"I thought the environment would be better for me and the racing up here in Queensland should go through the roof soon," he said.

"I think it is going to be on my level as a rider that I can pick up winners here.

"It was great, the travelling is a lot less with all the meetings a bit closer.

"I have only been here three or four weeks and I am still learning the caper but it is going well so far and I have really loved it."

Wheeler is in no rush to make the move to the metropolitan ranks in Queensland, declaring he will get there in the coming years when he is ready.

The newcomer to Queensland comes from outstanding stock in the racing industry.

"Zac Purton is my godfather," Wheeler explained after riding his first winner at Goulburn in late 2021.

"He lived with us for a time when he was apprenticed to Trevor Hardy at Coffs Harbour.

"Zac reviews all my rides and is in constant touch offering advice.

"My father Dan was a jockey for a couple of seasons and rode winners for John Hawkes when he trained for the Ingham brothers and had a satellite stable in Brisbane.

"Weight cut short his career, but he rode Shoot Out (multiple Group 1 winner) in track work and looked after him when he was trained at the Gold Coast before later joining Chris Waller's stable in Sydney."

Racing and Sports