COVID-19 Update – Race and field limits introduced

Racing Victoria (RV) wishes to advise of the following update about arrangements for Victorian racing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Racing and training is currently permitted to continue in Victoria under strict biosecurity protocols developed in accordance with all the current directives, guidelines and advice established by the Victorian Government on the advice of the Chief Health Officer.

That said, RV is continually reviewing the industry’s biosecurity protocols which serve to protect the health of industry staff, participants and the wider community; as well as minimise the risk of participants capturing the virus which may in turn impact on the continuation of racing.

Following endorsement by all stakeholder representative groups as part of the Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Industry (VTRI) Working Group, the following will be implemented from race meetings on Friday, 3 April 2020 until otherwise advised:

  • maximum field limits will be introduced to further reduce the number of attendees on raceday and better assist in managing social distancing requirements:
    • Metropolitan Racecourses – maximum field limit of 14 starters per race
    • Country Racecourses – maximum field limit of 12 starters per race
    • Black Type & Feature Races – the maximum metropolitan and country field limits may be increased at the discretion of RV for major races.


  • the maximum number of races conducted at a meeting will be capped at nine with RV not adding or splitting races beyond this cap.

Racing Victoria (RV) Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, said: “Whilst racing and training is currently permitted to continue in Victoria under strict biosecurity protocols, we cannot rest on our laurels. That is why we are continually reviewing our protocols in consultation with the industry stakeholder groups and learning from our collective experiences every day.

“We have continued to challenge ourselves on the number of people that should be attending race meetings and have elected to make further changes to our protocols as a result.

“The introduction of maximum field limits of 14 starters at metropolitan tracks and 12 at country tracks seeks to further reduce the number of required raceday attendees and assists in ensuring appropriate social distancing occurs.

“In determining the differing field limits between metropolitan and country tracks consideration was given to size, infrastructure and average field sizes.”