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Racing NSW restricts spectators at all upcoming race meetings

Uniform approach: Superium won the 2019 Wellington Boot for Joseph Pride. Attendance at this year's races will only be provided to essential personnel. Photo: AMY McINTYRE
Uniform approach: Superium won the 2019 Wellington Boot for Joseph Pride. Attendance at this year's races will only be provided to essential personnel. Photo: AMY McINTYRE

Racing at the 2020 Wellington Boot will go ahead, but access to spectators will not be permitted, Racing NSW confirmed on Tuesday.

Racing NSW refers to the restrictions imposed by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments in respect of public gatherings of over 500 people.

Even though attendees at some NSW Country thoroughbred race meetings, barrier trials and trackwork may be less than 500 persons, Racing NSW determined that a uniform approach be implemented in respect of all meetings, barrier trials and trackwork, including access to licensed training stables.

Thoroughbred race meetings, barrier trials and trackwork (including access to licensed training stables) in NSW will not be open to the public (including owners), effective immediately and until further notice.

Restricted attendance will only be provided to essential personnel, which on raceday including Racing NSW stewards and veterinarians, trainers, jockeys and stablehands with a runner at the race meeting, judges, weighing room staff and jockeys attendants, ambulance services and broadcast services.

Wellington Race Club president Ian Darney said while it was disappointing for the community, he understood why the restrictions came into effect.

"It's disappointing but life goes on. I think it's more important we get this fixed...," he said.

"We will always race again next year."

Darney said the Wellington community are resilient and will get through this.

"We came through a terrible time with the drought and we put a lot of money into the track with buying water to get it up to standard and then this happened, but you can replace a race meeting, you can't replace human life," he said.

No on-course wagering facilities will be available and essential personnel will be required to leave the racecourse after their horses have run.

Access will not be permitted to anyone suffering from coronavirus symptoms or is otherwise unwell, has been to a country considered high risk, is subject to self-isolation requirements, or has been in close contact with a person suspected or confirmed to have coronavirus.