A potentially heavy track stands between Ryan Elliot and what may the rarest of all New Zealand racing accomplishments.
Trentham could be anywhere between a soft7 and a heavy10 for tomorrow's $200,000 Captain Cook Stakes, in which Elliot will ride Rock On Wood for his mother Leanne.
It is not the first time Elliot has partnered Rock On Wood in a Group 1 but so far without much luck.
But if he can pull off the big mile, he might be a rare, or the only, Kiwi jockey to have ridden a Group 1 winner trained by his mother.
New Zealand has had plenty of wonderful female trainers over the decades but few who have had sons or daughters who have been jockeys.
With that number so small, the chances of a family training and riding double at Group 1 level are tiny, and racing historians the Weekend Herald contacted struggled to come up with one.
So what the Elliots are trying to achieve could well be unique, at least in the modern era.
But to win Rock On Wood has to first start and Leanne, herself a highly-successful jumps jockey, may be reluctant to try her stable star on a heavy track.
"He has never raced on heavy and I have never ridden him on a heavy track, even in work," says Ryan.
"So the track obviously has a huge role to play and I might even have to end up talking Mum into starting him if some of the other favourites pull out.
"But we really don't know how he will handle it."
Rock On Wood has always looked a Group 1 horse, with his huge finishing kicks even in elite-level fields.
He had to work harder to win as a hot favourite carrying 61.5kg last start but Elliot was still impressed.
"He isn't very big so for a horse his size to carry 61.5kg to win is a huge effort. He is going well and I am not worried about the 59kg at weight-for-age."
While Rock On Wood has yet to win at weight-for-age, he was third in the Herbie Dyke over 2000m in February and being the second-highest rated horse in the race, his 100 rating versus Concert Hall's 102, the w-f-a scale plays in his favour.
While the track is a concern for the Elliots, it is also for almost all the big players in the Captain Cook, including other favourites Concert Hall and Hypnos, horses Elliot has both ridden to victory before.
It was rated a slow8 today but concern over the forecast rain returning it to heavy has already seen Prise De Fer scratched.
"If the track stays heavy they (Concert Hall and Hypnos) might be in more trouble than us," suggests Elliot.
Just as much of a concern for Rock On Wood, though, could be tempo, with few natural go-forward horses in the race to set up a hot tempo to favour the swoopers.
One who might go forward and handle the heavy would be Aimee's Jewel, who was brilliant winning in mares' company at Riccarton but steps up a mile in grade.
Earlier in the programme, Elliot says a heavy track would aid the Team Rogerson filly Gagliardi (race one) as she won in the wet at Te Aroha last start.
It is a good sign that Elliot is riding Gagliardi as she carries just 55.5kg, a weight Elliot couldn't get down to a few weeks ago.
"The Covid break for racing was the first proper one I had had in two years and I just enjoyed it too much and put the kilos on," says Elliot.
"They were hard to get off but I am all good now and will be able to ride 54.5kg over the summer."