Race clubs to discuss a merger

Jockey Matt Bennett steers In A Wink to the line to win the Gloucester Cup raced in April at Taree's Bushland Drive track.
Jockey Matt Bennett steers In A Wink to the line to win the Gloucester Cup raced in April at Taree's Bushland Drive track.

KRAMBACH Race Club officials expect to make a decision on the club’s future within a month. 

Earlier this year Racing NSW Country directed Krambach to amalgamate with another club, either Taree-Wingham or Tuncurry-Forster.

Krambach officials have vehemently opposed to the move and have protested the decision to Minister for Racing, Paul O’Toole, through Member for Myall Lakes, Stephen Bromhead.

Krambach has raced at Taree since the Krambach track was closed in 1968.

Krambach secretary Phil Shoesmith confirmed the club met with Taree-Wingham Race Club officials last week to discuss the matter.

The club has also been talking to Tuncurry-Forster Jockey Club’s executive.

Mr Shoesmith wouldn’t say which way the club is leaning, adding that they are still hopeful of a positive result from the racing minister.

However, if this isn’t forthcoming, Mr Shoesmith said the club’s options are limited.

“We either merge with Taree or Tuncurry-Forster or fold,’’ he said.

“We could fight the decision through the courts, but we don’t want to do that.’’

Mr Shoesmith expects a decision to be made before the end of the month.

Taree-Wingham chairman Greg Coleman said there have been negotiations with Krambach, but wasn’t willing to make any further comment.

Tuncurry-Forster Jockey Club president Garry McQuillan said relations with the Krambach club have always been good.

“They were the only club in the area to pat us on the back when we granted a (racing) licence,’’ Mr McQuillan said.

He confirmed the clubs have met to discuss a merger.

Mr McQuillan added an amalgamation would require a change of name for the club.

He said there will be stipulations to this.

“Forster has to stay in the name,’’ he said.

“The name Forster sells this place. No-one knows where Tuncurry is.’’

Mr McQuillan said Tuncurry-Forster has a membership of 470 and any merger move would require the approval of members.

He said the time honoured Krambach Cup would continue to be run as would the Gloucester Cup if the clubs merge.