Racing continues with restrictions

Caryl Williamson
Restrictions on racecourse attendance will be in place around the country because of coronavirus

Sydney's rich autumn carnival is set to go ahead along with race meetings around the country but with strict conditions on attendance.

Saturday's Golden Slipper meeting at Rosehill would normally attract a crowd of more than 20,000 but will be restricted to 500 necessary personnel as per government guidelines on mass gatherings in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trainers, handlers, vets and farriers will be allowed on course along with stewards and a limited media presence.

The same restrictions are in place in Victoria and Queensland and also apply to trackwork and barrier trials.

Racing Victoria, which introduced restrictions for Saturday's Caulfield meeting, has now imposed conditions on jockeys riding interstate including that they not fly on commercial airlines.

Jockeys who ride interstate will need to travel to and from those meetings by private vehicle or charter flight to be able to compete when they return to Victoria.

A number of Victorian riders are scheduled to ride at the Golden Slipper meeting in Sydney.

"Only essential Racing NSW and Australian Turf Club staff, some licensed racing participants, and a restricted number of broadcast and media representatives will be permitted to attend," the ATC said.

"Owners and Australian Turf Club members along with general admission customers will not be allowed entry."

The same restrictions will apply to all metropolitan, provincial and country racing after Racing NSW opted for a uniform approach across the sport.

There will be no wagering facilities on course and participants will be asked to leave the course after their horse/s have raced.

Enhanced hygiene measures will be in place around NSW tracks while on-course temperature testing will be introduced in Victoria.

The Australian Easter Yearling sale is under threat with auctioneers William Inglis and Son maintaining the sale is an essential trading event rather than a mass gathering.

The sale normally attracts large crowds of buyers, many from overseas, vendors and the personnel to look after the yearlings.

The Sydney carnival features six weeks of high-quality racing including the two weeks of The Championships at Randwick.

Three Japanese horses were due to arrive this week but that is now in doubt while a strong New Zealand contingent will be cared for by personnel already in Australia before self-isolation requirements on travellers were imposed on Sunday.

After the Sydney carnival, the focus switches to Adelaide and Brisbane for rich races in the late autumn and early winter.