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Owners' return deferred by at least 24 hours

Racing Victoria (RV) has announced that the return of owners to Victorian race meetings will be deferred by at least 24 hours pending the finalisation of appropriate COVID safe protocols.

The announcement means that the 45 owners registered to attend tomorrow’s Swan Hill meeting will no longer be permitted to do so. A decision on Tuesday’s Ballarat meeting, where a further 45 owners are registered to attend, will be made by tomorrow evening.

The deferral follows the Government’s announcement yesterday that social restrictions would be tightened from midnight this evening after a spike in COVID-19 cases within Victoria.

RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, said: “This is a dynamic situation and the circumstances around COVID-19 cases and transmission are different in Victoria to other states. The Government made a significant announcement yesterday regarding the tightening of social restrictions from midnight this evening that requires appropriate understanding and consideration.

“We said throughout the past week that owner attendance would only be permitted once approved COVID safe protocols are in place.

“It remains our objective to provide a safe framework for owners to return to race meetings when their horse is engaged, and we are continuing to liaise with Government and our key stakeholders on realising this at the earliest opportunity.

“At this time, we expect to be a in position to make an announcement on owner attendance at Ballarat on Tuesday, as well as other meetings scheduled this week, by tomorrow evening.”

RV announced last week its plan to email all owners tomorrow with an overview of the processes and protocols in place for the resumption of owner attendance. In light the changes occurring with Victoria, this communication may be delayed by up to 48 hours.