PRIZEMONEY increases would make Tamworth Harness Racing Club meetings even more competitive, Ellalong trainer-driver Michael Formosa reckons.
The Hunter Valley horseman was answering a trackside interview with course announcer Mark Lowe after The Ultimate Legacy had won Thursday’s Fleabes Cafe 3YO Maiden Pace (1609m).
Formosa had bought the filly at a Sydney sale “for not much money” and was giving her her ninth start before leading all the way to notch a 7.75m win from Ride On Rainbow (Anthony Varga).
“She’s been a work in progress,” Formosa told Lowe.
“She’s galloped a few times and is very immature.
“She was unlucky last start (10th at Newcastle).
“She should have run at least second but the one in front of her galloped and took her out of the race.”
Formosa led from the start at Tamworth and took that interference possibility out of her race equation.
“It’s getting harder and harder to win a race up here though,” Formosa answered to Lowe’s question about him having a good winning record, at least one winner every meeting he attends, at Tamworth.
Formosa said he “earns his money” every time he races at Tamworth.
To which Lowe replied that might receive an increase next year.
“They (HRNSW) are talking about prizemoney increases,” he said.
“We’re having a prizemoney and programming seminar at Wests Diggers on June 17 from 7pm.”
He suggests all interested pacing people attend.
Tamworth chairman Terry Browne said prizemoney could lift as much as $1000 per race next year, especially when the club’s new track at its new site south of the city is built.
Eight races were held at the Tamworth Paceway on Thursday, with Moonbi trainer-driver Dean Chapple picking up a double when Artsu and Princess Zara P both had narrow victories.
Artsu heads to Newcastle for a heat of the Menangle Series fresh from a tough and courageous win in Thursday’s Shoal Bay Resort & Spa Pace (1980m).
The former Kiwi mare had to withstand a determined finish from Oscar Jay to post a neck win in her second Australian start.
A daughter of Elsu, she had won on debut for Chapple at Tamworth Paceway on May 22.
On Thursday she was handed an extra tough assignment, Chapple taking off from the rear of the field to sit outside early leader Kemira Cause and then taking off a lap from home.
It was a bold move but one even Chapple thought was going to end in defeat when the Jarred Hetherington-trained Oscar Jay, driven by Formosa, loomed around the final turn.
“I thought he had,” Chapple said.
“I knew Oscar Jay can find the line.”
To his delight, Artsu kicked strongly when challenged.
“We’ll head to Newcastle now with her for those Menangle heats,” he said of a heat and final series he won last year with Final Count.
“Hopefully she can make the final.
“She couldn’t have better form going into it.”
Visiting trainer-driver Jason Proctor was back in the winner’s circle at Tamworth after a long absence when Khans Courage won the first.
Tamworth races again Thursday, June 19.