Warwick scores TAB race meets

LIKE the horses that run around Allman Park Racecourse, the members of the Warwick Turf Club have been going around in circles for years - fighting to secure a TAB meeting.

But the seemingly endless months of lobbying has finally paid off with the club securing not one but two TAB race meets, where the meeting is broadcast in every TAB facility across Australia and attracts more prize money.

The Daily News supported the campaign in 2011.

Warwick Turf Club vice-president Nick Inmon said he was not exactly sure how long it had been since the club had hosted a TAB event.

"It was before I arrived but since the TAB days were taken away in the 90s," he said.

"There has been a concerted effort in the last couple of years by the board of the Warwick Turf Club and through the Eastern Downs Country Racing Association and various other racing channels to make it a reality.

"Some on the committee, including myself, were bitterly disappointed when the first round of Country Queensland Showcase Racing Series was announced in February of 2012 and we weren't on the list.

"Warwick has been and remains the key thoroughbred breeding area in Queensland and to not have any TAB racing was a bit ordinary."

It was just over a week ago when president Jim Costello got the phone call from Queensland Racing, asking if he would like to host a TAB race on Father's Day.

"Real credit must go to (president) Jim Costello who has been lobbying everyone that will listen about securing the day, the board of the Warwick Turf Club and blokes like Basil Nolan through the thoroughbred breeders association, trainers, owners and administrators," Mr Inmon said.

And while all the members of the turf club are stoked about the upcoming race day, Mr Inmon said he was the most excited.

"Coming from Grafton, where we have 28 race days and all of them are TAB ones, I have seen what it does for the town and the industry," he said.

"I understand what a good thing it is. Jim did most of the work lobbying through every man possible but it is something I have really been pushing for as well."

Hosting a TAB race does not only mean the race is televised, putting the town on the map, it also allows for a large increase in prizemoney.

"The major difference is the prizemoney on offer for the races," Mr Inmon said.

"Being so close to the New South Wales border is a real issue for us.

"Northern New South Wales meetings are almost always TAB meetings so our races with minimum race prizemoney of $15,000 per race and no TAB prizemoney support other than the feature race support money we get for Warwick Cup, just couldn't compete.

"The TAB allocation puts every race up $10,000 and the feature race up to $15,000 and for a club like ours it means we can attract more horses, more out of town visitors and better wagering turnover."

But despite securing the TAB races for both Father's and Boxing Day, Mr Inmon said the Warwick Turf Club would continue to fight for more.

"We would love all seven meetings we have to be TAB and it's something we will be working hard for," he said.

Stay tuned to the Daily News for all the Father's Day race day details.

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