Winx trainer scared of coronavirus impact

Mandy Cottell

Premier trainer Chris Waller is taking unprecedented measures as the coronavirus threatens to disrupt the Australian racing industry.

Best known for putting the polish on champion Winx, Waller admits he is concerned about the impact the virus could have on his staff and the knock-on effect on his horses.

"I'm very hesitant and cautious because I just can't afford for my staff to get ill," Waller said.

"My staff and my management team are so crucial for our operation and for the wellbeing of the horses.

"We're very nervous, we're aware of how bad it is going to get."

Waller has sourced temperature guns and tested all his staff at his Rosehill stable on Saturday morning before the feature Coolmore Classic race day at the track.

"I'm not going to do that every day but we did it today to get a fix on where we're at," Waller said.

Racing officials in NSW and Queensland opted to follow government guidelines by allowing the public into Saturday's meetings at Rosehill and the Gold Coast.

However, from Monday public gatherings of 500 or more will not be permitted meaning next weekend's Golden Slipper meeting will be a fan lockout.

The All-Star Mile meeting at Caulfield went ahead without spectators on Saturday, with only industry participants allowed on track.

The same measures were undertaken for the night meeting at Moonee Valley on Friday.