Q. Can owners start attending race meetings again?
- Approval has been granted for owners to return to Victorian race meetings from Tuesday, 23 June for the purposes of overseeing their horse compete.
- Admission will only be granted to owners with a runner engaged and will be restricted to no more than 30 owners per race, with each spending a limited time on course.
- Each Club is required to adhere to strict COVID safe protocols to manage the return of owners. The implementation of these may differ slightly from one track to another.
Q. Can an owner bring a guest?
- No. Guests are classified as spectators. Current Government directions prohibit the attendance of spectators at professional sporting events, including racing. This includes spouses or partners who are not named owners.
Q. Can an owner that doesn’t have a horse engaged on the day attend a race meeting?
- No. Owners that do not have a runner engaged on the day are classified as spectators. Current Government directions prohibit the attendance of spectators at professional sporting events, including racing.
Q. Can members and the general public attend race meetings once again?
- No. The Victorian Government is yet to grant approval for members and the general public to attend professional sporting events such as racing.
- This will not be permitted until a future change to the state’s guidelines on mass gatherings. No date has been set for this change.
- The only people permitted to attend race meetings are owners with a runner engaged on the day.
- As it stands, Racing Club members are classified as spectators and bound by the same restrictions as members of other professional sports in Victoria such as the AFL and NRL.
Q. Will there be a cap on the number of owners that can attend each race meeting?
- Yes. A maximum of 30 owners per race will be permitted to attend. Please note though that, in satisfying the necessary COVID safe protocols, some Clubs may not be able to welcome the maximum number of owners per race.
- Clubs will determine the allocation of tickets to owners in each race with the guiding principle of at least one ticket being available per horse. Only named owners will be permitted to attend and no guests are allowed.
Q. Will owners need to register their desire to attend before arriving on course?
- Yes. Owners will need to pre-register should they wish to attend given the limit on the number of owners permitted to attend and the need to keep all details for contact tracing.
Q. How does an owner register to attend a race meeting?
- An email sent to owners on the day of acceptances by Racing Victoria and/or the host Club will contain instructions on how to pre-register. This process will be managed by the Club and may differ from one to another.
- Owners should have their valid Victoria Owners Gold Card and/or Driver’s Licence with them when seeking admission on the day.
Q. Can an owner stay for the whole race meeting?
- No. There is a time limit on attendance at the race meeting. Owners have been approved to resume attendance on the basis that they come to see their horse(s) race, not to spectate for the day.
- Owners will be required to depart the racecourse following the race in which their final runner is engaged. Permitted arrival times will be managed on a per meeting basis subject to Club facilities and plans.
Q. When can an owner arrive on-course?
- Permitted arrival times may differ between Clubs depending on their facilities and COVID safe protocols.
- As a guide, owners may be able to arrive on course up to one hour prior to their horse’s race, noting this may be as little as 15 minutes before its race at some Clubs. This will be communicated to owners by the host Club for each meeting.
Q. When must an owner leave the course?
- Required departure times may differ slightly between Clubs depending on their facilities and COVID safe protocols, however the requirement will be for owners to leave when their final runner has competed.
- As a guide, owners may be requested to leave the course within 30 minutes of their final runner, noting that this may be as little as 15 minutes after its race at some Clubs. This will be communicated to owners by the host Club for each meeting.
Q. Will owners be required to undergo temperature testing upon arrival?
- This will be managed on an individual basis by each Club and may differ from one venue to another. Owners should be prepared for their temperature to be checked.
- All trainers, jockeys, stable staff and essential racing staff will continue to undergo compulsory temperature testing upon arrival and will be segregated from owners on raceday.
Q. What COVID safe protocols will be in place for an owner once on course?
- The racecourse will be segregated into two halves in the initial phase meaning that owners and racing participants will not be permitted to mingle on-course.
- Owners will be expected to adhere to restrictions on indoor/outdoor gatherings, social distancing and any directives from Club staff. Sanitiser will be available and regular cleaning will occur.
- Owners will not be permitted to attend the raceday stables and/or enter the mounting yard in the initial phase of their return.
Q. What social gathering restrictions will be in place for owners on raceday?
- Owner attendance will be managed by Clubs in accordance with Victoria’s social gathering guidelines with adherence to all social distancing directives and density requirements.
- Up to 20 owners will be permitted for each indoor space at a racecourse provided they are seated in accordance with hospitality guidelines.
- Up to 10 owners can gather in a group outdoors at a racecourse provided they remain separate from other groups.
- The plans in place for race meetings will differ between Clubs so it is important that owners consult the host Club’s website for confirmation of details prior to the race meeting.
Q. What facilities will be available for owners on course?
- This will differ from one Club to another and will be influenced by adherence to the protocols in place. Limited food and beverages may be available at some meetings, but not all.
- Clubs will communicate what facilities they have available for owners on their website and via the acceptance email prior to their meeting.
Q. Will there be betting facilities on track?
- Whilst the number of owners permitted to attend, size of gatherings and time on course is capped, it is unlikely that Clubs will have betting facilities available.
- Where betting facilities are available on course registered owners will be notified by the host Club.
Q. Will the owners’ room be open on course?
- This will be a decision for each Club adhering to the hospitality guidelines around indoor gatherings.
- Owners will either receive an email before the meeting from the host Club advising the facilities in use and/or be directed to them upon their arrival on course.
Q. Will racebooks be available for owners?
- This will be up to each individual Club. Until such time as broad attendance is permitted, racebooks are unlikely to supplied by Clubs.
Q. Will an owner have access to the mounting yard and the ability to speak to their trainer and jockey?
- No, not in the initial phase. The first steps to a return of crowds will see racing participants segregated from owners on-course.
- Whilst an owner will not be permitted to enter the mounting yard and accompanying viewing area, in some cases they will be able to speak with their trainer from a distance across the necessary infrastructure segregating the racecourse into two halves.
Q. Will an owner be able to see their horse prior to and/or after the race?
- No, owners will not be allowed access to the raceday stalls in the initial phase of their return.
- At many racecourses, owners will be able to view the horse in the mounting yard from outside of it, however this may be facilitated from a distance to ensure the segregation of racing participants and owners is maintained.
Q. Can an owner now visit their horse at their trainer’s stables and/or attend trackwork?
- No. The ban on owners attending training centres and Licensed Premises remains in place until otherwise advised given the current circumstances in Victoria around COVID-19.
- Owners and trainers will be segregated on raceday. It is not realistic to replicate this segregation at stables and Clubs will not have the protocols in place to safely manage attendance at morning trackwork.