AQUAJEWEL has her chance today to notch a second successive win for her Ballina trainer just a week after breaking through on her new home track.
The four-year-old daughter of Love Conquers All swamped her rivals at Ballina last Monday when she flew late to win the $20,000 tab.com.au Benchmark 60 Hcp (1000m).
She was having her fourth start for Steve Phelps and won for the first time for him in her third career win.
All three wins have been on heavy tracks and with the Ballina track rated a Heavy 10 for today she looks like the one to beat again.
"She pulled up real good,” Phelps said of a mare that has won three of her 22 starts and after her first win at Ballina.
"Allan Jones sent her down to me from Caloundra. That was her fourth start for me.
"She is a wet-tracker but it's going to be a lot wetter , it's a very Heavy 10.”
She is his only runner on a day where the stable is still lamenting the loss of former star Maltese Beauty.
The son of Rivotious won 28 races for Steve Phelps as well as another 35 or so placings.
He died last week and is buried at the front of Phelps' stables.
"He was a wonderful horse,” Phelps said.
"Won a Ballina Cup, Coffs Harbour Cup, Wyong, New- castle and Canberra cups.
"Won four races in town (Brisbane) too and won everywhere from 1000m to 2400m.”
A tough front-runner, Maltese Beauty won many of his races by leading and refusing to relent over the final 600m.
"He won the Coffs Harbour Cup on a bog track by 18 lengths,” Phelps said.
With the Heavy 10 in store at Ballina today Phelps is hoping Aquajewel can reproduce the same finish to celebrate the memory of Maltese Beauty.
Aquajewel has to cope with 2kg more (56kg compared with 54kg last Monday) and a wide gate (barrier nine) while Matthew McGuren replaces Ben Looker as the jockey.