Tamworth Puts On Smiling Faces For Cup (Friday, 26th Apr)

Coming off the back of the hugely successful Tamworth Country Music Festival, both Alana Roe (30) and Todd Grills (33), the inaugural ‘Faces of the 2024 Tamworth Cup’ to be run on Friday 26 April, could give Taylor Swift a run for her money in the Fashions on the Field stakes.

Alana Roe & Todd Grills – the inaugural ‘Faces of the 2024 Tamworth Cup’

Todd Grills won last year’s men’s fashions in a Texan inspired suit.

Alana Roe has won the top prize dozens of times, looking like she has stepped straight off Broadway in stunning vintage inspired ensembles.

She also designs these for the Tamworth Musical Society of which she is Vice-President.

“But we’re not just here to smile and look pretty,” said recently engaged Todd sporting a grin.

Both locals are passionate about what Tamworth racing has to offer their beloved communities.

“Getting the soul back into country racing needs community involvement here in Tamworth,” he mused. “We had it when I was a kid.”

The son of iconic Tamworth trainer Sue Grills, Todd wants Tamworth racing to reach the status of towns like Wagga Wagga, Coffs Harbour and Grafton.

Todd still helps out training on the track despite now working in logistics: “I drive a keyboard.”

Todd added: “A good Calcutta*, usually on the Cup, is an indicator of community involvement and Coffs Harbour has one of $50,000 sometimes.”

*A Calcutta consists of two parts – the selling then drawing of raffle tickets followed by an auction of each horse in the selected race

“We need to get to that level and being the Face this year enables me to do something else for the industry, but through a different lens.”

As Faces of the Cup, both Todd and Alana are passionate about attracting more membership to Tamworth Jockey Club and “kick starting the social aspect of racing in Tamworth with more weekend racing as people don’t want to come out on a Tuesday night.”

Alana agreed: “It’s a rapidly growing town with young families and it’s an opportunity to get out and be social, let your hair down and for businesses to promote a fun way to get out of the office by booking a table for raceday and building those relationships.”

Alana, who went to school in Tamworth and attended UNE for a Bachelor of Agricultural Production and Management, has always had ‘ties to horses in the industry’, having competed locally in equestrian events on off the track racehorses.

“I love putting costumes together,” she enthused. “I’m excited about all the creative people from the cities competing in regional Fashions on the Field.

“People can be themselves in Tamworth and I love local and city people creating their own looks and being original.”

Todd has attended thousands of country race meetings and believes they have a lot to offer: “While some of the tracks aren’t as polished as the main regional courses, your country cups are well presented and have a lot of heart to them that you don’t find in the city.”

Alana and Todd both agree that the Tamworth Cup on Friday 26 April is a wonderful time to attract people to Tamworth.

“The weather is perfect when Tamworth has cooled down, the autumn leaves are out and it is just the best place to enjoy the racing.”

When asked for a tip for the Cup, both laughed: “I don’t have a crystal ball,” said Alana, “but I always put my nose in the book and choose the best name.” Todd added: “And choose a local horse!”

– Racing NSW

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