TAMWORTH Jockey Club’s 2014 Tamworth Cup meeting has received a major prizemoney boost as well as an extra feature race to heighten its appeal to trainers and punters alike.
Today’s Hygain Romantic Dream 2YO Plate meeting is the perfect day to announce those major changes and prizemoney hike, chairman Tim Coates reckons.
His committee decided to “take the plunge” and increase the Tamworth Cup to an $80,000 race ($65,000 this year) while also adding the Jardel Cup to the major race day.
The $30,000 Jardel Cup, a race for fillies and mares, has been run early in the year but will now move to Tamworth Cup day.
“It gives us three major races on Cup day,” Coates said. “The Jardel Cup, the Mornington and the Tamworth Cup.
“We’ve increased the Cup to $80,000 as well to make it more appealing to trainers.
“They now have a meeting where they can bring their good filly or mare, their good distance horse (2100m Mornington) and the 1400m Cup horse.
“Increasing the Cup prizemoney is something we thought we needed to do to try to make it a quality handicap.
‘Those three races will be worth $140,000 alone and then the support races will all be $15,000 at this stage.
“That could change too if Racing NSW increases prizemoney as well.
“So we’ll distribute more than $220,000 on Cup day.”
The decision “to take the plunge” and increase the Cup prizemoney is a direct result of another expected good year financially for the club.
It is still waiting for its final figures for the past season but the official balance sheet will be verified by accountants Trinder, Scott and Davis.
Announcing those changes today is a perfect run-in to today’s $17,000 Romantic Dream 2YO Plate, Coates said.
That race has been one of the club’s feature race days for many years, running the first juvenile race of the new season.
It has drawn a full field today as well.
HNWRA’s three leading jockeys – Robert Thompson, Andrew Gibbons and Greg Ryan – all have rides in the juvenile scamper.
Thompson, who rode race namesake Romantic Dream, is on the Gordon Yorke-trained Chilli Zaim (3), Gibbons has the mount on the Leon Davies-trained Can He Rap (11) while Ryan rides Be Nimble (8) for Tamworth trainer Lesley Jeffriess.
The Neil Godbolt-trained Little Jatz, who has drawn well in barrier seven and to be ridden by Ray Spokes, is the $3 pre-post favourite.