By Geoff Newling
Last start winner My Cousin Jackie heads a five-horse home track quest by Steve Phelps at Ballina on Friday. A winner at Port Macquarie last Friday, My Cousin Jackie backs up in tomorrow’s $20,000 TURSA January Handicap (1400m) for Ballina-based Phelps.
He also has My Cousin Steve (R1), My Cousin Meryl (R3), General Nelson (R5) and Aquajewel (R6) engaged and along with My Cousin Jackie (R7); all will be ridden by Brooke Stower.
She was on board when My Cousin Jackie powered to victory along the fence in last Friday’s Benchmark 73 over 1506m at Port, the fifth win in just 15 starts for the five-year-old daughter of Mutawaajid. She has 54kg again tomorrow, jumps from barrier nine and drops back 106m to the 1400m of the January Handicap.
Steve Phelps said backing up a week after her fifth race win won’t worry the high-spirited mare: “She pulled up terrific,” he said while also advising just how much of a handful she can be.
“She’s can be really moody,” he said thinking of how she plays up of a morning. “She is going quite good at the moment after we had a few hiccups last prep.”
He is “tossing up” whether to start wet track specialist Aquajewel. “She’ll probably go around, needs the run,” he said.
General Nelson has had some gear removed, and My Cousin Meryl’s barrier draw (17) won’t be a worry as her racing pattern is to get back in her races anyway. It’s a busy day for Phelps too, as well as his five runners he also has three trialling including his “good horse” My Cousin Bossie: “He’ll trial between races,” Steve Phelps said.
Ballina Jockey Club's general manager, Matt Bertram, said My Cousin Bossie is a talented horse and the special request to trial between races was no problem.
“He’s a very good horse,” Matt Bertram said. “Won in Brisbane last year and is quite promising. Steve, obviously doesn’t want to go hard on him and the 1000m open trials can be quite competitive. We just hope he gets back to his best.”
Ballina Jockey Club has eight races on Friday, the first kicking off at 1.15pm with the TAB.com.au 3YO Maiden Plate (1000m).