By Geoff Newling
Tamworth Jockey Club could end up with an extra race on Friday after being inundated with almost 180 nominations for Tuesday’s eight-race TAB meeting.
TJC received 178 nominations on Wednesday for next week’s meeting but will consider “splitting” one of its races tomorrow if acceptances are strong, advised TJC general manager Damon Sullivan.
“We had really good nominations with a good mix of trainers,” Damon Sullivan said today. “We had 34 nominations for the In Memory of Riharna Thomson Benchmark 55 and if we get a situation where we have 28 acceptors tomorrow we might be able to split that race and have nine. But that depends on what happens.
"That race has quite a few dual acceptors with eight horses also nominated at Taree or Wellington as well. We’ll see how we go. But is a very pleasing response.”
Especially after Armidale Jockey Club raced its Guyra Cup meeting last Saturday, Scone Race Club staged its huge Country Championship Qualifier meeting last Sunday and Muswellbrook Race Club ran an eight-race TAB meeting today.
Sullivan is also impressed by the quality of the nominations as well with the likes of last start winners Don’t Nicme, Bullet Kid and Red Knot all entered.
Five-year-old Don’t Nicme is trained at Port Macquarie by Tas Morton and has won five of his 31 starts, including the recent Kempsey win in a 1450m B65. He will break through the $100,000 prizemoney if he wins or places at Tamworth.
Then there is ultra consistent Bullet Kid, a four-year-old gelding son of Bite The Bullet who has won two of his 10 starts. He has not finished worse than third at his last 10 starts and scored a brilliant win at Armidale last Saturday when stablemate Our Masquerade went so close to winning the Guyra Cup.
Red Knot, prepared at Scone by Rod Northam, has won his last two outings at Scone and couldn’t have been any more impressive when leading and winning on a Heavy 8 at Scone last Sunday.
Damon Sullivan also said the TJC is preparing for a big Tamworth Cup meeting on April 30 with three more meetings leading into the Cup meeting. Work on the new 1000m chute is progressing well.
While the Tamworth Cup has been increased to $100,000 there is also a new John Clift Memorial Open Sprint worth $50,000 which will be the first race run on the new 1000m surface. The new chute is ready to go, Damon Sullivan said.
“Just needs the grass where the old track meets the new track to knit,” he said. “Has to be top-dressed and rubbed in but it is progressing really well.”