Racing Victoria (RV) has today announced that Victorian thoroughbred racing will continue to be spectator-free until at least next Thursday night, 10 June 2021.
The State Government announced on Wednesday an easing of restrictions in regional Victoria from today, Friday, 4 June, which allows for the resumption of a limited number of spectators.
Due to the limited number of spectators and a focus on limiting, to the extent possible, the movement of racing industry participants, RV has determined that racing will be spectator free across all Victorian racetracks until at least next Thursday.
This decision has been taken in consultation with Country Racing Victoria (CRV) and the relevant Clubs, to ensure thoroughbred racing is able to continue safely.
RV will continue to liaise with Government and health advisors over the coming days and will provide a further update on attendance, with owners being an initial priority, as soon as practicable.
The Swan Hill Jockey Club (SHJC), which is scheduled to host its three-day Carnival from next Friday, 11 June, has also advised that it has made the difficult decision to cancel all current bookings and refund 100% of the purchase price for the bet365 Swan Hill Carnival.
Should further information become available ahead of the Carnival, that make it possible for the SHJC to host a larger number of patrons at the racetrack in a safe manner, the SHJC will consider whether it is in a position to take advantage of that opportunity.
RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson said, “Following discussions with Country Racing Victoria and our Clubs, we believe racing spectator free until greater crowd limits are approved is the most practical decision at this point in time.
“This will provide our clubs who are racing over the coming days much needed certainty in the face of queries around ticketing, staffing, food orders, raceday experience and biosecurity protocols.
“When we can safely welcome spectators back to the racetrack in larger numbers with sufficient notice for clubs then we will make owners and club members the immediate priority.
“We’ll continue to liaise with the State Government over the coming days regarding requirements for venues and will provide a further update to our industry in the days ahead.”