IN 1986, Darren Zealley and his mate took out shares in a racehorse.
Twenty-six years later, he's well and truly in the racing game - and now he's here in Warwick.
Mr Zealley will take the reins of the Warwick TAB today and said while his first week included the biggest racing day of the year, Melbourne Cup, he was ready to get under way.
"I'm very excited, but also very nervous," he said.
Mr Zealley has worked in a TAB near Hobart, Tasmania, for the past 10 years and when he saw the opening in Warwick, he jumped at the opportunity.
"I was sort of put in charge down there and so I thought I'd take this as the next step," he said.
Mr Zealley arrived on Sunday and despite never having been here before, was already falling in love with the Rose City.
"The first day I was a bit stressed out, thinking 'what am I doing?' But then on the second day I went for a three-hour walk around the town and I really like it; it seems like a lovely town," he said.
After a few months of monitoring how it all happens here, Mr Zealley will begin to look into ways to improve the TAB, including some promotions.
Previous owner Shayne Richardson, who has had the TAB for the past year, is confident the business is now in safe hands.
Mrs Richardson will take some time off to spend with her family before getting back into the workforce.
See Tuesday's Daily News print edition for your Melbourne Cup form guide.
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