There won't be a more popular runner in Monday's Moruya Town Plate then the Jamie Stewart-trained Akeed.
The Moruya galloper will be representing local interests, and Stewart admitted it would be 'nice' to win his first hometown Moruya Town Plate.
"It would be special to pick up a feature race anywhere, but being a local feature race, it would be nice to win one on my home track," Stewart said.
Akeed gets into the $50,000 race nicely, drawing gate one in the 1200m Open Handicap, while he has been allocated the minimum weight of 55kg.
Stewart was also confident in-form jockey, Jean Van Overmeire, would give his six-year-old the best possible chance.
"He rides those front running horses quite well and he is a good match for that horse of mine tomorrow," Stewart said.
"We get in good with the weight, we get a good gate, and we have a good in-form jockey on board."
The 2022 Moruya Town Plate is as open as ever according to bookmakers, with TAB offering $5 the field and with Akeed currently a $8.50 chance, Stewart admitted there were a few winning hopes.
"It should be a pretty even race and I think he is $8.50 fixed odds," Stewart said.
"He is as good a chance as anyone, but it is a very open race."
Stewart hopes his Akeed Mofeed gelding will be benefited by home track advantage, with most of his rivals travelling to Moruya on Sunday or Monday.
"Look to be honest, he does run well on the track. He hasn't won here but he ran a good second to that horse of Nat Jarvis (Kattegat)," Stewart said.
"It's pretty similar to us going to Wagga and Gundagai and it is often hard to come down from the mountains to win here, particularly at this time of year when it's hot and you're travelling in the heat
"It's definitely an advantage being on the home track."
The 26-start sprinter is a six-time winner, boasting an abundance of early speed, and only two starts back, Akeed showcased his pattern of racing, leading from pillar to post in the 1212m Benchmark 74 Handicap at the Sapphire Coast on October 28.
"He will lead and that's his patten and there is no reason to change it," Stewart said.
"He runs better when he can lead, and he is most effective when he can dictate from in front.
"I think there is the possibility that the horse of Luke Clarke's (Moore Euros) might roll forward from the gate, but in those 1200m sprint races, they can generate good speed and he will be there again."
The $50,000 Moruya Town Plate is just one feature race on a massive eight-race Showcase program at Moruya on Monday that is headlined by the $75,000 Moruya Cup.
Story courtesy of NSW Country and Picnic Racing.
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