Topweight O'Reilly's Revenge will give Kembla Grange trainer Paul Murray a moment to savour if he can post back-to-back victories in Monday's $40,000 North Ryde RSL Community Club Showcase Moruya Cup (1660m).
O'Reilly's Revenge's victory in last year's Moruya Cup was one of the last winners trained by Murray's late father Bede before he succumbed to cancer a few months later at the age of 80.
O'Reilly's Revenge carried 57.5kg to a two-length victory last year and has to lump 61.5kg on Monday.
"He's a big, strong horse so the weight doesn't concern me too much," Murray said. "It certainly would be a special moment for me if this horse can win again after winning the race last year for Dad."
Murray did not consider booking a claiming apprentice on Monday and will stick with senior rider Jeff Penza who has ridden O'Reilly's Revenge at his past two starts, most recently to a win in the $40,000 Ted Ryder Cup (1600m) at Wagga on 23 December.
And Penza is certainly the man to get the job done in the Moruya Cup after having already won the race four times in 2009 (Regal Celeb), 2011 (Ilringya), 2012 (Ilringya) and 2013 (Fair Nation).
"The horse needs an experienced, fully-fledged rider and Jeff knows him and rides him well," Murray said.
Murray believes O'Reilly's Revenge is probably in better form this preparation than he was leading into last year's Moruya Cup.
"He probably is going a bit better this year," he said. "I've been spacing his runs which suits him."
Murray rates the Luke Pepper-trained Marquee as one of the hardest to beat in Monday's Cup.
Marquee is coming off a strong win in the $35,000 Narooma Cup (1425m) at Moruya on 2 January.
Pepper has already had success in the Moruya Cup, posting back-to-back wins with Ilringya in 2011-12.
"Marquee won well the other day and with 55kg on Monday looks the hardest for my horse to beat," Murray said.
Monday's meeting is the Moruya Jockey Club's first Showcase meeting and the eight-race program carries $270,000 in prizemoney.
Bede Murray trained a treble at last year's Cup meeting and his son would love to go home with a similar result this year.
"I've targeted this meeting because of the Showcase prizemoney and should have a few good chances, hopefully we can have a pretty good day," he said.
Murray's other runners are Case (race one), Direct Strategy (race three), Junoesque (the $35,000 Moruya Town Plate) and Can't Find Snippy (race eight).
The Moruya Cup dates back to 1882 and this year's edition will be the highlight of what looks an outstanding day's racing. There will be a Fashions on The Field competition and leading racing journalist Chris Scholtz from Racing And Sports will conduct a Punters' Club throughout the afternoon.
Also, the Moruya Cup Calcutta will be held at the Moruya Golf Club from 7pm on Sunday.
The rail on Monday will be out 3m from the 1000m to 375m where cutaway rail applies.
The track is currently rated a good 4.