Ken Casellas | Photo: Gloucester Park Harness Racing
Collie reinsman Trent Wheeler was more than happy to come to Ravenswood trainer Nathan Turvey’s aid and bring four of his pacers to Gloucester Park on Friday night after Turvey had to isolate after returning a positive test to coronavirus.
“Nathan sent me a message and asked if I would drive Captured Delight, Sports Package and The Tiger Army,” said the 37-year-old Wheeler. “I was thankful for the opportunity and it was definitely a different feeling bringing horses to race at Gloucester Park.”
Wheeler made the most of the opportunity when he drove a patient race to land Sports Package a thrilling last-stride winner by a half-head in the 2130m Stand Out Broking Services Pace.
Polemarker Acuto, attempting to end a 32-month drought, was heavily supported and was the $2.75 second fancy. He won the start, leaving Sports Package, the $2.40 favourite, in the breeze after starting from the No.4 barrier.
Acuto, driven by Ryan Bell, sped over the final 800m in 56.4sec., but he just failed to hold out Sports Package, who ran home with great determination.
“Nathan was pretty sure that Acuto wouldn’t hand up, and he was happy for Sports Package to sit in the breeze and for me to rate her to her strengths,” said Wheeler.
Sports Package, the third foal out of the Northern Luck mare Ultimate Package, has been raced sparingly and she now has earned $149,708 from eight wins and six placings from 31 starts.
Wheeler celebrated Friday’s night’s victory by setting the pace and winning a 2190m event at Northam on Saturday night with trainer Mike Howie’s $23 chance Newsletter, who beat the $1.95 favourite Spy Major by a head.