Horse racing will go ahead on the Northern Rivers with a meeting at Casino on Saturday.
Horse racing will go ahead on the Northern Rivers with a meeting at Casino on Saturday.

Horse racing set to continue despite crowd ban

HORSE racing on the Northern Rivers will continue under strict guidelines from Racing NSW which has closed tracks to the public until further notice.

Jockeys and trainers will operate as usual but owners have been included in the crowd ban.

Casino Racing Club will host a TAB meeting on Saturday with its biggest hit to come in May with Beef Week postponed.

The Racing NSW schedule means they will still have to hold a meeting on May 29.

“Losing the Beef Week crowd will have a huge impact on us, we often get up to 2000 people for that,” secretary-manager Renee Opryszko said.

“We race four times a year and we’ll take another hit in income this weekend.

“We might have got around 300 people, but a lot of clubs are dealing with issues and have already abandoned meetings (Saturday).

“Everyone just has to adapt and deal with the situation as best they can.”

Ballina Jockey Club and Lismore Turf will also continue to operate with race meetings closed to the public.

“We’re one industry that can probably continue our operations as close to normal as possible,” Ballina general manager Matthew Bertram said.

“Racing is very well placed because we can minimise the amount of people at the track on a daily basis.

“We probably only have 10-15 people here each day on the track and between trainers and staff we’re all fairly well spread out.

“We were already taking precautions last Saturday when we raced by providing hands sanitisers.

“It’s still a work in progress and the current protocol is business as usual just without the crowds.

“Our biggest worry is all our non-racing events with the weddings and functions we’ve got booked in.”


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