Following a meeting between New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR), stewards and club representatives it has been decided that Wednesday’s meeting at Taupo and Friday’s at Waverley will be closed-door events. This is based on the government’s announcement of a return to alert level 3 in the Auckland Super-City region and alert level 2 for the remainder of the country from midday today until midnight on Friday.
While gatherings of up to 100 people are permitted under alert level 2, the short lead in time to allow for preparations led to the decision to return to closed-door meetings to protect industry participants.
Contact tracing, temperature checks, social distancing and encouraging the liberal use of hand sanitizer will also be reintroduced at these meetings. A decision on Riccarton will be made once there is greater clarity from the government.
Following Tuesday evening’s announcement of resumed COVID-19 restrictions NZTR and Stipendiary Stewards met and agreed the following:
- Persons and venues within the Auckland Super-City region must comply with NZTR Level 3 Directive “Protocols for training, trialling and racing under COVID-19 Alert Level 3”
- Persons or venues that are outside the Auckland Super-City region must comply with NZTR Level 2 Directive “Protocols for training and racing under COVID-19 Alert Level 2”
The government announcement impacts upcoming race meetings as follows:
- Riders resident in Auckland on the evening of 11 August are stood down from booked rides at the Taupo race meeting and will not be able take rides at race meetings during the alert level 3 period. NZTR has been advised that Leith Innes is already in Taupo so may ride on Wednesday should he wish.
- Any horses nominated for Taupo that are stabled in the Auckland Super-City region are scratched.
- As a precautionary approach the Whangarei RC meeting at Ruakaka has been postponed to Sunday 16 August. NZTR will confirm the running of this meeting by Saturday 10am.
- The Taupo, Riccarton and Waverley meetings will be permitted to operate under Level 2 Protocols. For these meetings, NZTR permits Jockeys to be booked for rides even if they are not resident in the island that the meeting is conducted. Crowds will be limited to gatherings of no more than 100 people.
- Contact tracing and temperature checking procedures will also be in place.
Trainers based within the Auckland Super-City region may work their horses under Level 3 Training protocols.