Racing Victoria (RV) was advised late yesterday by Cranbourne trainer Richard Laming that a staff member from his stable had tested positive to COVID-19.
The staff member last worked at the stables last Sunday, was tested on Wednesday and was confirmed as a positive case yesterday. They are now undertaking the Government’s minimum mandatory quarantine.
Mr Laming has had only one starter in the past nine days, which was at Sandown on Wednesday. The staff member was not in attendance.
As a result of this notification, RV undertook contact tracing last night to determine whether any other stables and industry participants outside the Laming stable may have been exposed to the staff member or their designated close contacts.
Following that work, RV Stewards, acting upon on the advice of RV’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), have placed the following Cranbourne stables into lockdown:
- Richard Laming
- Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young
- Wendy Kelly
- Nathan Dunn
- Michael Trotter
- Adrian McGregor
- Tom Nikolic
After consultation with Stewards, the Laming, Kelly and Busuttin and Young stables withdrew their runners from The Valley today, while the latter also withdrew their runners from today’s Wangaratta meeting to ensure no staff from those stables are in attendance.
In addition to the above, licensed jockeys Alexandra Bryan, Michael Walker and Jason Benbow who have ridden work for the Laming stable this week have also been stood down from riding pending COVID-19 testing and clearance from the Stewards and CMO. Walker and Bryan have been removed from their rides at The Valley and Wangaratta respectively today.
All trainers, their staff members and the three licensed jockeys are required to isolate pending the outcome of COVID testing and will require a clearance from RV Stewards and the CMO before being permitted to resume normal activities.
RV has organised testing at the Cranbourne Turf Club today for all impacted participants. It is expected that the results of these tests will be known at some point tomorrow.
Deep cleaning will also be undertaken today at the Laming stables and Cranbourne Training Centre which was closed for trackwork this morning by the Cranbourne Turf Club as a precautionary measure. Disinfection of communal areas has been occurring on a daily basis at the Training Centre.
Having considered all the facts, including the withdrawal of runners from those stables under lockdown, RV acting upon the advice of the CMO has determined that it is safe for racing to continue in Victoria today and until otherwise advised.
A decision on whether any of the locked down stables or stood down riders can compete at tomorrow’s Moe and Ballarat meetings will be made tomorrow morning subject to the receipt of testing results.
A further update will be provided once the result of tests are known.