Another one bites the dust: Horse racing is brought to a sudden halt over fears a jockey has been struck down with coronavirus
- A jockey caught the same flight as someone with coronavirus on March 12
- Race meets in Victoria and NSW have been cancelled pending their test results
- Racing Victoria CEO Giles Thompson could not confirm the person’s identity
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Horse racing in Victoria and NSW has been called off amid fears a jockey has been struck down with coronavirus.
Racing Victoria released a statement advising the licenced participant was undergoing tests on Wednesday after catching a flight with a confirmed case on March 12.
‘The participant has this afternoon been advised by health authorities that they were on the same flight as a confirmed case of COVID-19 when they travelled on 12 March 2020 prior to the introduction of strict COVID-19 protocols governing the conduct of racing in Victoria and the Federal Government’s announcements of 13 March 2020 restricting social gatherings,’ the statement reads.
Horse racing in Victoria has been suspended after a racing identity caught the same flight as someone with coronavirus. Pictured: the Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse in 2019
‘The participant is not currently displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.’
Racing Victoria cancelled the last six races at Sandown on Wednesday and all races scheduled at Kilmore and Pakenham on Thursday.
Those who have been in close contact with the jockey have been contacted by Racing Victoria.
Racing Victoria CEO Giles Thompson could not confirm the identity of the participant and said racing could return on Friday pending test results.
‘Should that test prove negative then we will look to resume racing and we will provide an update tomorrow on progress of that test and racing resumption,’ he told RSN Racing Pulse radio.
‘At this point in time I can’t confirm any details that would reveal the identity of the person involved.’
Racing NSW cancelled the last two races at Warwick Farm in Sydney on Wednesday, along with Thursday’s Hawkesbury meet as a precaution.
‘Racing NSW received advice this afternoon that an interstate participant – who attended the Rosehill Gardens meeting on Saturday, 21 March 2020 – has received advice from health authorities that a commercial flight he caught on 12 March 2020 has had another passenger from that flight that has tested positive to COVID-19,’ a media release reads.
CEO of Racing Victoria Giles Thompson could not confirm the identity of the participant and said racing could return on Friday pending test results
‘As the interstate participant travelled in a private charter flight with two other NSW participants and to minimise the risk of participants at today’s Warwick Farm meeting being exposed to COVID-19, the remainder of the Warwick Farm meeting has been cancelled.
‘Accordingly, Thursday’s Hawkesbury race meeting has been cancelled to minimise any risk to participants.
‘In the event the interstate participant tests negative, Racing NSW will immediately resume racing subject to any Government restriction.’
Harness racing in NSW was suspended until Thursday after an official was in contact with someone with coronavirus.
A decision on their racing meets beyond Thursday will be made this week.
Racing is one of the last remaining sports in Australia after the coronavirus sparked the suspensions of the NRL and AFL seasons.
Protective measures have been put in place to protect the racing industry from coronavirus sanctions.
Victorian jockeys are banned from competing in NSW, while NSW jockeys have been organised into three sectors within the state.
Jockeys can only compete in their designated sector.
There have been discussions about limiting the movement of horses between states.
Fashions in the field participants on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse in 2019