Victorian jockey plan to keep racing going

giles thompson
Giles Thompson, Racing Victoria chief executive, has announced new jockey protocols over covid-19.

A group of 25 jockeys has agreed to enhanced biosecurity measures to ensure the continuation of racing in Victoria.

The 25 will abstain from trackwork, jump-outs and barrier trials and only ride on race days in a bid to minimise the chances of a jockey contracting covid-19 and to keep a pool of riders.

After consultation with the Victorian Jockeys’ Association, Racing Victoria says the new measures will begin after racing on Saturday.

The riders are to isolate themselves and remain at home as much as possible, not travel to race meetings with anyone outside the selected group, preferably on their own, while also separating themselves from other jockeys as much as possible.

The 25 jockeys are a part of a wider group that has agreed to a number of protocols to assist with the continuation of racing should a fellow rider contract coronavirus.

RV, the VJA and relevant racing clubs will assist with additional change rooms along with multiple weighing-in and weighing-out scales.

The new initiatives are in addition to rules that Victorian jockeys not travel interstate on commercial flights.

Chief executive Giles Thompson said it was RV’s responsibility to ensure racing went ahead to protect the livelihoods of 25,000 people dependant on the sport.

“These are unprecedented times that require unprecedented actions to achieve our goals of protecting the health and wellbeing of industry staff and participants and ensuring that our programmed race meetings can proceed,” Thompson said.

“The segregation of our riders into groups is all about providing the industry with options should a rider be diagnosed with COVID-19.

“In simple terms, this is another insurance policy to help the industry keep ticking along whilst many other sports have been forced to suspend competition.”

RV also announced the weight scale for jumps races would rise 2kg in line with Wednesday’s announcement of a 2kg rise to the minimum weight for flat races.

* The 25 jockeys:

Craig Williams

Dwayne Dunn

Damien Oliver

Jye McNeil

Ben Melham

Damian Lane

Mark Zahra

Linda Meech

John Allen

Mick Dee

Jordan Childs

Brett Prebble

Michael Walker

Damien Thornton

Ethan Brown

Zac Spain

James Winks

Michael Poy (a)

Teo Nugent (a)

Fred Kersley (a)

Lachlan King (a)

Liam Riordan (a)

Mitch Aitken (a)

Lewis German (a)

Thomas Stockdale (a)

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