It was a Moruya Town Plate for the ages, with two local heavyweights in Kattegat and Iconic Dame going punch for punch in the $50,000 feature sprint.
In heavy conditions, both gallopers raced on the pace, and the Natalie Jarvis-trained Kattegat (Billy Owen, $9) led the field into the home straight while the Jamie Stewart-trained Iconic Dame (Jean Van Overmeire, $4) sidled up very stylishly as the pair went to the outside of the track.
From there, Kattegat looked to have enough in the tank, but Iconic Dame lifted in the dying stages to win by a head while in third and three-quarters of a length from the winner was the Robert and Luke Price-trained Mr Rock It (Robbie Downey, $3.10).
Stewart said the wide draw in the wet conditions ended up being a blessing in disguise, with his mare finding the better going early in proceedings.
“It all mapped out perfectly,” Stewart said.
“I’d rather draw one from the outside than one from the inside, and it proved the right call.”
Van Overmeire gave the five-year-old a gem of a ride, and Stewart thanked the well-travelled jockey for a job well done.
“It was a great ride; he had a plan, stuck to it and executed it,” Stewart said.
“They were very tough, and it’s good to see; he knows her really well; he knows her better than I do, so credit to him.”
It was a popular local win, with a good group of local and visiting owners on course for the victory.
“Steven and Janelle (Cummins) bred her, and she is locally owned, and they put a lot of their friends into the horse from various parts of Australia, and it’s great to have them all come together and enjoy the win,” Stewart said.
The Nicconi mare is now a six-time winner from just 19 starts, taking her earnings to shy of $180,000.
A Highway winner at Rosehill Gardens in 2022, the Moruya galloper went on to win the South Coast Clubs Cup in 2023 ahead of Monday’s feature win on her home track, and Stewart believes that is her bread-and-butter type of race.
“I think that the 1200m (races) on these wet tracks are right up her alley, so I think if we stick to that, hopefully, she can win more races,” Stewart said.
There is a good chance Iconic Dame will be set for the $50,000 Showcase Sprint at the Sapphire Coast on Sunday, February 4.