Racing Victoria (RV) wishes to provide the following update on further arrangements for Victorian racing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The key announcements by RV today are as follows:
- RV in association with the Victorian Jockeys Association (VJA) has determined to raise the minimum weight for all country and metropolitan professional race meetings to 56kg from Tuesday, 24 March 2020 until otherwise advised. The details, which have been finalised in consultation with the Australian Trainers Association (ATA), are as follows:
- For day race meetings, RV has determined that in order to maintain the spread of weights all weights in Handicap races will be raised by 2kg from the minimum weight with the minimum top weight not less than 62kg (in 2yo only races not less than 61kg). The scale of Set Weight races will also be raised 2kg where necessary to ensure the minimum weight is not less than 56kg.
- For night race meetings, RV has determined to increase all weights by 1kg, with a minimum topweight in handicap races of not less than 62kg (in 2yo only races not less than 61kg). The scale of Set Weight races will also be raised where necessary to ensure the minimum weight is not less than 56kg. Night race meetings means any race meeting which finishes at 9pm or later.
- All media are excluded from attending Victorian race meetings until otherwise advised with the exception of the following:
- Racing.com (official broadcaster who will be operating under strict protocols across all Victorian meetings)
- Racing Photos (official photographers offering an editorial pool service for media on all Victorian meetings)
- Racing & Sports (RV-contracted single person transcription service for media on Friday night and Saturday metropolitan meetings)
RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson said: “This remains a rapidly evolving situation which we are continuing to monitor closely in consultation with the Government, medical experts and industry stakeholders and make appropriate adjustments based on current advice.
“Our priorities remain to protect the health and wellbeing of our industry stakeholders and indeed the wider community, and to maintain an appropriate framework under which racing can continue for the many people whose livelihoods depend on it.
“We are announcing today, in association with the VJA, that minimum weight for all races will be raised to 56kg from next Tuesday, 24 March.
“This move recognises the challenges that some of the existing protocols place on riders to maintain their riding weight, whilst also recognising the importance of ensuring that our riding group remains strong and healthy so they can continue to compete.
“We have also taken the decision to immediately restrict the media presence on-course to broadcaster Racing.com, the official photographer Racing Photos and a pool transcription service for our metropolitan meetings to help further minimise the numbers on track.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our accredited media for their understanding of our required actions in these unique circumstances and thank them in anticipation of their ongoing support and coverage of Victorian racing.
“In making today’s announcements, I want to foreshadow that the industry can expect further enhancements to our protocols over the coming days as we strive to ensure that we have the best possible framework to allow Victorian racing to continue for the foreseeable future.”