By TERRY WILSON
A COUPLE of minor hiccups aside, everything came up roses when the Taree Greyhound Racing Club held its inaugural TAB meeting last month.
After five years of trying, the club was finally given the green light for TAB racing by Greyhound Racing New South Wales for the first of 17 allocated race meetings on June 17.
“Everything went really well,” said Taree’s racing manager and secretary Peter Daniel.
“There are a couple of things we have to tweak, but there were no issues or whatever.
“We had Tony Mestrov and a number of GRNSW board members there and they were extremely happy about the day and congratulated us on it.
“The crowd was pretty good even though we had to restrict it because of the COVID-19 but racing was good and the track was in perfect order.”
Taree is one of a few grass tracks in NSW and some work is planned on it later in the year to compliment a lot of upgrades completed on the venue since the go-ahead was given for TAB racing.
Daniel said the kennel block had been reconfigured, there is a new stewards’ room, a new semaphore board, new starting boxes and all television monitors have been installed.
All this work was required before the club received the nod to start TAB meetings.
“Comment from the GRNSW was that the overall betting hold exceeded expectations,” said Daniel.
“Some work is coming up now for the track itself.
“We’re excited about reaching this level, but we’re aware we’ve got a lot of work ahead to maintain it.
“But things are looking good.”
Prizemoney for the first TAB meet was good with $1500 first money for all races.
The club’s second TAB meeting, one of 17 allocated for the season, is on July 8 and also ahead next year is the non-TAB Easter carnival which includes the Taree Cup.
For the record, trainer Lisa Hutton landed a long-shot double on the day, both winners jumping from box four, with El Grande Deano ($23) and Sailor Boy ($19) scoring.
But the one to go into the history books as the first TAB winner at Taree was Shamal, trained in the Manning River town by Paul Dalton.