By Geoff Newling
Aptly-named Aquajewel could be ploughing her way to a trifecta of home track wins at Ballina next Monday. The Steven Phelps-trained four-year-old mare, a daughter of Love Conquers All, has conquered all at home at her last two outings – winning on two heavy tracks.
Aquajewel has now won just over $50,000 in prizemoney from her 23-starts four-win career and was one of five nominations for Monday’s $20,000 Aquis Farm Open Handicap (1250m) today. While she has won her last two Queensland hopefuls, Saipan and You Say No Way, are last-start winners too. Saipan won a 1000m scamper at Murwillumbah on November 17 while You say No Way won a 1200m Class 4 at Toowoomba on November 11 for his Toowoomba trainer.
Nominations for two of Monday’s seven-race TAB program, the 1250m Aquis Farm Open and the 1000m Aquis Farm 2YO, have been extended until 11am on Wednesday, advised Ballina Jockey Club general manager, Matt Bertram.
“I expected light noms for the 2YO but the open (six) was a surprise,” Matt Bertram said. “Hopefully we’ll pick up a few more for both, fingers crossed. The rest (noms) are very good.”
He said more rain earlier this week left the track at a Heavy 8 but with dry weather leading into Monday, the track could be greatly upgraded.
Meanwhile, Lismore Turf Club has received six additional nominations for Saturday’s Evans Head Cup meeting. That included two extra nominees for the $10,000 Evans Head Bowling Club Evans Head Cup (1516m). Gold Coast mare, Rumeron (Brad Witt) and Grafton gelding, Mexican Mountain (John Shelton), swelled the Cup list to eight.
Mexican Mountain, who is raced by a syndicate of owners including Clarence River Jockey Club committeemen Bob Pavitt and Graeme Green, is a last start Grafton winner and has won five of his 46 starts. The seven-year-old son of Mount Nelson has won more than $72,000 in prizemoney for his Grafton syndicate.