Another hit for the horse racing industry in Sydney as the latest outbreak of Covid-19 has put a stop on patrons attending and racing events in the near future.
There had been no direct ruling from the NSW government to enforce a decision however acting on their advice the Australian Turf Club made the decision to enforce a temporary fan lockout after a concerning rise in cases in the local area.
Until the spike comes under control only club officials, owners with horses running and club members will be allowed to attend the New Year's Day twilight program at Canterbury and Saturday's racing on the Kensington track at Randwick.
“The health and safety of racing participants, ATC staff and all of our customers are our number one priority and we continue to make these decisions with Racing NSW in the interests of all of Sydney,’’ ATC chief executive Jamie Barkley said.
With the worsening cases in the area and a specific uplift in the Wollongong and Inner West regions the ATC have also taken it upon themselves to tighten race day health and safety protocols including:
- Jockeys located in several isolated groups on-course, along with trainers and key racing industry personnel
- Increased hygiene and safe social distancing according to NSW Government Health Orders
- ATC members and owners will be required to remain seated indoors in designated areas within the racecourse’s grandstands and function spaces.
The changes in attendance means that this years edition of the Christmas Classic at Cantebury on Friday will now be run behind closed doors.
Favourite for the race is Athiri for the Godolphin stable at $3.70 seen here having a trial back in July.