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Victorian metro meetings spectator-free until at least June 17th

Racing Victoria (RV) on Thursday provided the following update regarding Victorian thoroughbred racing in light of the announcement by the State Government that restrictions will ease from 11.59pm (AEDT) tonight, Thursday 10 June 2021.

Greater Melbourne 

The State Government has announced an easing of restrictions in Greater Melbourne from Friday, 11 June 2021. Racing Victoria understands the entertainment and leisure provisions within the directions will allow a maximum of 100 people (with no more than 50 indoors) to attend metropolitan race meetings.  

Due to the limited number permitted to attend and the logistics required to facilitate this, RV has determined that racing will be spectator free at racetracks within Greater Melbourne until at least next Thursday night, 17 June 2021. 

This will affect upcoming metropolitan race meetings at Ladbrokes Park Sandown (12 and 16 June) and Mornington (14 June) with the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) in agreeance that racing spectator-free until greater crowd limits are approved is the most practical decision at this point in time. 

As such, the three metropolitan race meetings over the next week will proceed with only competing participants, essential staff and officials in attendance. All spectators (including owners, members and the general public), non-broadcast media and non-essential staff are prohibited from attending.

RV also advises that owners, media and non-essential persons will not be permitted to attend public or private training facilities or licensed racing premises within Greater Melbourne until at least next Thursday, 17 June 2021.  

RV will continue to liaise with Government and health advisors over the coming days and will provide a further update as soon as practicable on attendance at metropolitan meetings, with the return of owners being the initial priority. 

Regional Victoria  

The State Government has announced a further easing of restrictions in Regional Victoria from Friday, 11 June 2021. Racing Victoria understands the entertainment and leisure provisions within the directions will allow a maximum of 150 people (with no more than 75 indoors) to attend country race meetings.  

Attendance at country meetings will be determined on a case-by-case basis with each individual Club to determine, in consultation with Country Racing Victoria (CRV) and RV, whether the relevant Club is equipped to welcome spectators back on course. 

Spectators must reside within Regional Victoria to be permitted entry at a country race meeting in line with the Government directives which currently prohibit people from Greater Melbourne travelling to Regional Victoria. 

The Swan Hill Jockey Club (SHJC) have advised that they are proceeding with welcoming 75 people on course in an indoor area on each day of their three-day carnival which commences on Friday, 11 June. 

The SHJC are only accepting registrations from country owners with a runner engaged on the day with those interested encouraged to contact the SHJC via phone (03) 5032 2110 or email swanhill@countryracing.com.au. 

From Friday 11 June 2021, owners who reside in Regional Victoria will also be permitted to attend public and private training facilities and licensed racing premises within Regional Victoria.

Face Masks

In line with the updated Government guidelines for the whole of Victoria, from Friday, 11 June 2021, face masks:

must be carried at all times; 
must be worn indoors except if at home, or if an exception applies; and
must be worn outdoors where 1.5 metres physical distancing cannot be maintained.

RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson said, “Following discussions with the Melbourne Racing Club, racing spectator free at their upcoming meetings is the most practical decision at this time - with the Club’s preference to welcome spectators back once larger numbers are approved. 

“Following the further easing of restrictions in Regional Victoria from Friday, we are pleased Country Clubs will have the opportunity to welcome back up to 150 spectators on course, however this will be at the discretion of each Club in consultation with Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria. 

“I would encourage those based in regional Victoria to visit the websites of the individual country Clubs for further information regarding ticketing and attendance, as the advice and directions will vary for each race meeting. 

“We will continue to liaise with the State Government regarding the possibilities for increased attendance beyond next Thursday and will provide a further update to our stakeholders as soon as possible.

“Lastly I would like to thank all industry participants who have done a terrific job in adhering to protocols and ensuring racing is able to safely continue over the past fortnight whilst restrictions have been in place."

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