The Tumut Turf Club will next year hold its first TAB meeting in 19 years after Racing NSW approved the small country club’s application to feature on the national stage.
TTC’s landmark race meeting will be held on Saturday January 4 and will see the club host a six-race-program of TAB racing with each race set to carry a prize money purse of $12,000.
Tumut last held a TAB meeting in 2001 and club president David Rosetta believes the allocation of a new TAB meeting is well worth their recent efforts.
“We have put a lot of money and time into the track over the last 7-8 years and we are now reaping the rewards for that investment,” he said.
Rosetta wanted to thank the current and former committee members on achieving such a terrific outcome.
“There are certainly a lot of people who aren’t on the committee right now that deserve a lot of credit,” he said.
“We have had a lot of volunteers over time and this achievement should recognise all of those efforts in previous years.”
An excited Rosetta believes the January TAB meeting will add more interest to an already popular season of racing in Tumut.
”Our Boxing Day meeting has always been the most popular but in recent years Derby day and Tumut Cup day have become very big and they’re catching up,” he said.
“Where the TAB race meeting is now, it could be a terrific day – there shouldn’t be any down day on the Tumut racing calendar with big crowds at all four meetings.”
The addition of a TAB meeting will also go a long way to securing the financial future of the Tumut Turf Club with a percentage of betting turnover paid back to the club.
Tumut trainer Kerry Weir believes the upgrade to TAB status is a big win for local thoroughbred enthusiasts.
“Getting a TAB meet is like having a trial game for the Tumut Blues one week and then playing for the Dragons the week after,” he laughed.
“It is huge – racing a TAB meeting on a Saturday, you get both your turnover and your crowd so it’s a win-win.”
When questioned if this increased prize money would lure better horses and cause local owners and trainers concerns, Weir wasn’t having any of it.
“I’m more about the betterment of the club and it is certainly in our interest moving forward,” he said.
“We want good racing and this will only attract more trainers and their horses.”
Tumut’s TAB meeting is already starting to generate interest outside of the town with the TTC soon to announce a headline jockey for the January meeting. Additionally, trainers such as Nick Olive, Norm Gardner, Gratz Vella, Nick Heywood, Trevor Sutherland and Todd Smart have expressed their support for the club by confirming they will have runners in attendance