The 'all clear' for Tamworth Jockey Club after morning inspection by Racing NSW
The all-clear has been granted to Tamworth Jockey Club who hasn't hosted a race meeting since Melbourne Cup Day last year, but New Year rainfall arrived just in time bringing good fortune for the track.
The newly appointed administrator David Jewell said they have been mowing the track twice a day and its looking picture perfect.
"I'll be overseeing a trial on the track today with Racing NSW stewards and we expect to get the all-clear to race next week as planned," Mr Jewell said.
A short time later Mr Jewell confirmed the inspection was a success in a post to Twitter.
Racing NSW appointed Mr Jewell as the Administrator whilst they conduct an inquiry that forced the Board to step aside.
Mr Jewell has decades of experience in the racing industry both in Australia and overseas and said he will work with the club to get them back on track.
"My role is to make sure the day to day business of the club continues," Mr Jewell said, "The management team lead by General Manager Wayne Woods will report directly to me and I am responsible for making sure that the accounts are paid, that the health and safety issues are managed properly and basically everything that's involved with running significant race day events."
During 2020 Tamworth Jockey Club, jointly funded by Racing NSW, completed hundreds of thousands of dollars of work on their track before subsequently losing two race meetings due to poor track quality.
Mr Jewell said weather conditions at the time of the work last year were not conducive to a successful outcome.
"I have spoken with Racing NSW officials who were part of that work last year," Mr Jewell said, "Apparently it was very dry last November, and the grass didn't take as well as it should have."
A report by Race Net News said Trainers have been appalled at the state of the track and some warm-up areas that haven't been open for use for many months.
Mr Jewell confirmed Racing NSW has approved further works estimated to cost around $1 million.
"Racing NSW has approved a major project to replace the sand track here," said Mr Jewell, "I spoke to the project team leading this work, and I'll also be involved in that going forward."
Mr Jewell confirmed the contracts will be going to tender in the next few weeks and said he hopes the work will commence late February or early March.
The exact length of Mr Jewell's role as Tamworth Jockey Club Administrator has not been confirmed.
"I can't really put a timeline on it at this stage," Mr Jewell said, "It's dependant on the Racing NSW inquiry."
According to Mr Jewell, the Racing NSW inquiry has really ramped up their procedures and is investigating processes that may not have been followed by the previous Board of Tamworth Jockey Club.
"It will be up to Racing NSW to determine how the Club will be run in terms of governance in the future," said Mr Jewell.