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COVID-19 Update

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 being conducted in Victoria under strict biosecurity protocols developed in accordance with all the current Government directives, guidelines and advice.

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 catching the virus which may in turn impact on the continuation of racing.

Following consultation with the Victorian Jockeys Association (VJA) and Australian Trainers Association (ATA), the following protocols will be updated as follows:

Approved Green Team Jump-Outs

Effective from Wednesday, 20 May 2020, jockeys in the Green Team will be permitted to participate in local jump-outs conducted by the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) at Mornington, in addition to local jump-outs at Caulfield, Cranbourne, Flemington and Sandown.

The prohibition on jockeys in the Green Team riding trackwork (including on the morning of Approved Green Team Jump-Outs) remains in place until otherwise advised, as does the prohibition on them participating in jump-outs at other training centres and racecourses.

The MRC, Victoria Racing Club (VRC) and Cranbourne Turf Club (CTC) continue to implement measures that maintain the segregation of participating jockeys in the Green and Gold Teams at their local jump-outs, replicating what occurs at all race meetings.

The Approved Green Team Jump-Outs recognise the health and wellbeing challenges faced by members of the Green Team, in particular in maintaining their weight and fitness without trackwork permitted and with the closure of gyms, on-course spas and saunas.

Travelling Companions for Horses

The protocol banning all travelling companions, including ponies, will be amended with effect from Wednesday, 20 May 2020 to allow them under the following circumstances only:

  • a trainer will be permitted to bring a travelling companion to a racecourse where they have one runner only engaged at the race meeting and they have been granted approval by the host Club who will determine whether there is suitable space to accommodate them; and
  • the trainer notified Racing Australia at the time of nominating their horse that a travelling companion was required.

For eligible horses engaged at Ballarat this Wednesday, notification to Racing Australia will be permitted at tomorrow’s acceptance deadline for this meeting only.

The prohibition on trainers with multiple runners at a race meeting bringing travelling companions remains in place and RV Stewards will continue to monitor compliance with the protocol by those not eligible or approved to bring a companion.

Racing Victoria (RV) Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, said: “We’ve regularly stated that we will review the protocols in place for the safe continuation of Victorian racing on an ongoing basis and these amended protocols emanate from that process.

“We are satisfied that the strict policies around the segregation of jockeys on raceday can be replicated for jump-outs conducted by the MRC, VRC and Cranbourne, and accordingly we are comfortable with extending the Approved Green Team Jump-Outs to include Mornington also.

“Since the ban on travelling companions was imposed a month ago to help facilitate the stabling of horses from training centres together on raceday and further assist social distancing measures, there has been considerable feedback from trainers around the importance of the companions from a horse welfare viewpoint.

“Having reviewed the allocation and management of raceday stalls over the past month, we are now satisfied that we can allow selected travelling companions on raceday where it is essential to the welfare of horses travelling on their own to and from the racecourse.”