Tamworth Paceway – that is the new name set down by Harness Racing NSW (HRNSW) after their recent purchase of the Tamworth Showground.
On Thursday night, the Tamworth Paceway will come alive with a nine-event program and it will also see a new beginning for former Queensland trainer and reinsman Richard Williams who has seven runners engaged at the meeting.
“I’m over the moon with the announcement – it’s fantastic,” said Williams, who is in the process of settling into his new barn at the Paceway.
“We premade the move when HRNSW first made the announcement of the purchase of the grounds and now the punt is going to pay off
“We have eight horses in work here at the moment and my parents – Barry and Sue – are jogging another two up for me in Queensland.
“It’s set in stone now so it is all going to happen. I am ready to make a go of it.”
Harness Racing NSW has engaged GHD Tamworth to masterplan the Paceway with commitments already given and underway with a new harness racing officials tower, race stalls roof, permanent training stables upgrade and grandstand extension all of which is budgeted to $2million from the Harness Racing Racecourse Development Fund.
“The Board gave a commitment to the harness racing fraternity firstly to the continuation of racing in the North West Region and now confirms that commitment through the $4.6million purchase and the improvements to the Paceway,” stated HRNSW chief executive John Dumesny.
“In time the strategy is to have more than 100 horses permanently stabled and trained from the Tamworth Paceway.”
For Williams he has started the ball rolling for others to follow and has set up syndicates with his horses having owners in Broome, Queensland and Tasmania.
“I even have an old school friend who is a janitor up in Queensland,” he added.
“All my horses tonight are resuming from a spell but they are all going good enough to be competitive.”
Fresh from the Mini Trot Championships in Tamworth over Easter, Williams has engaged two former Mini Trot campaigners in Tom and Sam Ison to take two drives for his team.
Tom will partner Long Tow Tiger in the Nathans Farrier Service Pace while Sam will take the drive behind My Greek Mate in the BMR Quarries Pace.
“These boys are part of our future – they are local and they do a good job,” he said.
Williams has a busy night ahead as he has also accepted three drives from the Tony Missen stables which includes Rubbers Dilemma in the Select Autoglass North West 3YO Classic a feature on the card.
Coralie’s Joy is another key hope on a night where the first is set to go at 5.32pm.