The unexpected gift that was Craig Williams' ride in Friday's Tamworth Cup has emboldened the Tamworth Jockey Club to look at flying in top Sydney hoops for future cups and Country Championships qualifiers.
That could even involve flying in several jockeys on the same light aircraft, TJC administrator David Jewell has said.
"That's something we can look at in the future: trying to get up some higher profile jockeys," Jewell said.
He said "it would be nice to get a couple of the good jockeys out of Sydney".
"It just depends on their commitments down there, and more around transport," he added.
Jewell said the TJC would "probably have to look at getting a private plane, which does happen from time to time" to attract jockeys to meetings.
He looked at doing that for the Tamworth Country Championships qualifier last month.
"It's about $4000 or $5000 to get a small plane that could bring half a dozen or so people up [to Tamworth]," he said.
He continued: "From a wagering point of view, it does lift the wagering on the race, and the odds would be that we [the TJC] benefit out of that."
The Tamworth Cup received a major publicity spike because of Williams' involvement in the race, Jewell said.
"What that exercise shows is that if you've got the high-profile jockey there, then your meeting gets a lot more publicity," he said.
The event "got talked about in all the racing media extensively", he said, adding that its appeal extended beyond the racing media.
"It's hard to put a value on it. But I think that if you paid for it in advertising, it would be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars."
The Tamworth Cup was moved from its traditional Sunday home to Friday this year.
Jewell said some 1500 people attended the meeting this year - believed to be the best-ever turnout for a Friday meeting.
That crowd figure, he added, was comparable to the Country Championships turnout and the 2019 Tamworth Cup, which was held on a Sunday.
"It was a good crowd," he said of Friday's race day. "It's something we can build on."
He added: "We just need to get people into the mindset that the Cup's gonna be on a Friday and not a Sunday."
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