TAMWORTH Harness Racing Club might have had a win in obtaining more Tier 2 racing but it is still in limbo as far as obtaining a new $6million track.
That was the message from a frustrated chairman, Charles McCarthy, this week as Harness Racing NSW failed to give any positive answer to the long -proposed new racing precinct but did okay an increase in the higher prizemoney Tier 2 races.
HRNSW chief executive Sam Nati and former board member Rex Horne met with the club and then Tamworth Regional Council concerning both the lack of Tier 2 races at Tamworth and the precinct.
Discussion on the prizemoney levels resulted in an alteration to Tamworth’s Tier 2 and 3 racing.
“Owners and trainers were at a distinct disadvantage in this area compared to other parts in that they only had five meetings in a 12-month racing season where they could race for the $5000 (Tier 2) prizemoney,” McCarthy said.
“Following our discussions, a recommendation will go to the Board of HRNSW next Tuesday to alter the structure of the Tier 2 and 3 meetings at Tamworth effective from the November 15 meeting.
“Meetings at Tamworth, excluding the Tier 1 meetings (Golden Guitar and Gold Nugget meetings), will be programmed on a basis of five Tier 3 races and three Tier 2 races,” he said.
Tier 3 races are for $3000 per race and Tier 2 $5000 per race.
McCarthy said the new structure would mean local owners and trainers would be able to place their horses to “the best advantage and use the system to move their horses through the grades”.
“Mr Nati took into consideration the fortnightly racing schedule and the fact the next main TAB tracks are at Newcastle and Dubbo and more than four hours away (driving time),” McCarthy said.
The prizemoney increases are a little boost for local owners and trainers but the new racing precinct remains in limbo.
Discussions about that precinct were also held, McCarthy said.
Just where that lies is anyone’s guess.
HRNSW promised Tamworth a new track but has failed to deliver and continues to make no concrete moves towards building the promised track.
“It would be a magnificent complex if they built it,” McCarthy said.
“It would be a great precinct for Tamworth.”
“Sam Nati and Rex Horne did talk to the club about it.
“Rex Horne, who is heavily involved in Menangle, was very impressed by our plans and our meeting was positive,” he said.
“They then trotted down to meet with Tamworth Regional Council.
“I’m not privy to what was said there but I believe it is still positive.
“I believe the Tamworth Regional Council put a proposal to them.
“We are still awaiting a response from them (HRNSW).”
McCarthy is hoping the HRNSW honours its original promise and builds a “good track up here”.
“Increasing the prizemoney is a good thing but we need the new racing precinct to go ahead.”