Racing to continue in Victoria
Racing in Victoria is set to continue despite Australia tightening its restrictions in an attempt to control the Coronavirus pandemic.
Victoria’s Racing Minister Martin Pakula confirmed on Monday morning that all three codes were allowed to keep racing for the time being.
How long that green light lasts is yet to be seen with Pakula conceding that at some stage in the future racing is likely to stop.
Racing Victoria has been on the front foot from the start, taking a number of proactive steps to keep the industry going for as long as possible.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Monday morning said the state would go into lock down with all non-essential business to close.
It follows a directive from Primer Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday afternoon.
Racing Victoria and other key stakeholders will spend Monday morning locked in meetings to discuss the latest federal and state government directives.
Speaking on RSN9 27 on Monday morning, Pakula said it was “really difficult” to speculate how long the industry could keep racing.
“It’s incredibly difficult to be specific about … whether it’s the next stage (of restrictions) or the stage after that that would present a problem for racing,” Pakula said.
“Everyone in the industry is making the best arguments that we can make and acting in a unified way to make the case to health officials why (we should keep racing).
“Racing (Victoria) has been very proactive, it has taken social distancing measures, they put crowds out before they were required to do so. They’ve already announced the May Races … will be crowd free. They are separating jockeys. They are doing everything right.
“But ultimately health officials will make a decision based on what they think is needed to slow the spread of this disease. And as an industry we are going to have to accept and respect that.”
MORE TO COME