Racehorse owners have been given the green light to start returning to Sydney racetracks to watch their horses run.
In the first phase of patrons being allowed back on course on race days in Sydney, owners with runners at Saturday’s Randwick meeting who pre-register with the Australian Turf Club will be allowed on course to watch their horses race but with strict procedures in place.
Only essential personnel have been allowed at NSW race meetings since just before Golden Slipper day in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The safety of our jockeys and participants has been paramount to us continuing to race and we will now move that focus to include spectators on course,” ATC chief executive Jamie Barkley said.
“We are very pleased to be able to start to welcome back owners in this first phase and we will continue to work with the NSW Government to gradually allow more people including ATC Members to attend in coming weeks subject to the NSW Public Health Orders.
“The Australian Turf Club will have staff at all points of entry and in designated sit-down dining and viewing areas to ensure best practice bio-security measures for the safety and wellbeing of everyone on the track this Saturday.”
The ATC says owners will be given the first chance to purchase special sit-down dining and hospitality packages on Saturday with bookings on a first in basis.
Public Health Orders require all pre-booked seating and hospitality numbers to be capped at 50 people per dining area.
Those with pre-booked packages will be allowed to stay for all races while owners who do not purchase sit down dining will be able to watch their horse’s race from a designated area before then having to leave the course.
The ATC said new protocols and procedures will include installing two body temperature thermal imaging cameras to monitor the temperature of patrons entering Randwick.
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys said it was always the board’s priority to allow owners to be the first spectators allowed back on course.