Cowra Greyhound Racing Club President Peter McDonald says the incredible response to the club’s first meeting at Temora this Sunday, vindicates their decision last month to move their meetings to the TAB track.

The Cowra meeting at Temora on Sunday night has drawn 12 races, all with capacity fields.

“It really has exceeded all our expectations,” McDonald said on Thursday. “There are a lot of people travelling from far and wide to be a part of it, and it just reinforces the move that we have made in the Cowra club and the Temora club, joining forces.

“To get the response this week, just reaffirms what we are doing.”

Greyhound Racing NSW, in conjunction with the Cowra club and the NSW GBOTA Temora club, announced in December that all parties had worked together to increase better racing and prizemoney outcomes for participants in the region.

The result was that NON-TAB race meetings scheduled for Cowra, will now be conducted as TAB race meetings at Temora, the first of those this Sunday night. The Cowra club will also still hold its traditional carnival in June.

McDonald said that when he first floated the plan, it was met with some resistance from locals.

“But I am a realist and I could see the Cowra club was struggling,” he explained. “I approached Wayne Billett (GRNSW’s GM of Racing Operations) about it and he said we’ll work this together and then Steve Noyce (GBOTA chief executive) came on board, and it all just fell nicely into place.

“Initially a few people were a bit hesitant but when we said look these are going to be TAB meetings, and instead of racing at Cowra for $300 a race, you travel a bit further to Temora, but you’re racing for $1,700 a race. It’s a win-win situation for trainers. I think a few more NON-TAB clubs should perhaps be giving this idea some thought.

“I am just a bit cranky that I have been crook in hospital and I won’t be able to make it to Temora on Sunday night, but I will be a tremendously proud man watching those races.

“This is a tremendous result for greyhound racing in this area.”

GRNSW chief executive Tony Mestrov was also delighted with the response to the Cowra @ Temora meeting.

“What a fantastic result this is for the Cowra club, and vindicates the decision of Peter McDonald and his club to make the initial move to get this merger happening,” Mestrov said.

“As I said at the time of the announcement, full credit to both Cowra and Temora for working together on this. This is the first of its kind for NON TAB race clubs and provides a pathway for other NON TAB clubs and GRNSW to work together to ensure sustainable outcomes.”