Racing NSW stewards have ordered two Randwick trainers to stop attending trackwork and the races after they broke COVID-19 protocols for the past month, travelling to tracks around the state despite being in lockdown in Greater Sydney.
The Racing NSW COVID -19 protocols say licensees are not allowed to travel out of areas in lockdown to attend trackwork and race meetings. This has seen several leading jockeys relocate, having had to serve a quarantine period and provide clear COVID tests before being allowed to ride.
The two trainers had been going about their business as normal despite being in lockdown but have been contacted by Racing NSW stewards, who have set down inquiries for Friday.
“We have investigated two Randwick trainers, and they have been instructed not to attend trackwork or race meetings until inquiries on Friday,” Racing NSW chief steward Marc Van Gestel said. “We take our COVID protocols and policies very seriously and the matter is ongoing.”
The trainers have been told not to make comment about the issue before Friday’s inquiry.
The Racing NSW COVID-19 policy allows licensees who live outside COVID hotspots to attend tracks, like Rosehill and Warwick Farm, within local government areas of concern to attend to their horses’ welfare. However, they face strict COVID testing requirements.
Trainers who live within an LGA in hard lockdown where their stables are located, are allowed to work at the track but cannot travel to any race meetings with their horses.
The protocols are designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 within the racing community and avoid a possible shutdown of the industry.
Stewards have taken strong action against those who have breached the COVID rules with jockeys in Melbourne and Canberra disqualified for three months for breaking government lockdown laws.
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