COVID-19 Update 23 March 2020

It is with a heavy heart that we now provide vital updates to all members in light of the current crisis affecting Australia. The Canberra Racing Club has been advised that racing is excluded from the Stage 1 Social Distancing announcements made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison last evening. Thoroughbred race meetings at Thoroughbred Park will continue to proceed under strict biosecurity risk management protocols in accordance with Government and health authority advice. Canberra Racing Club will continue to apply and update these protocols in accordance with advice from government and health authorities to ensure the safety of all industry participants.


These updates will serve as a clear communication of the policies, procedures and strategy the Club has developed and will continue to evolve thus ensuring to the best of the our ability the Clubs navigation and compliance with all Government, Industry and Club obligations.


Over the past week we have received many inquiries on various issues and concerns from Members and Industry Participants. It is our hope that these updates will provide the relevant information and assurances to all as this situation unfolds.


Our aims over the following months are;

    •    Protect the health and safety of our Staff and Racing Industry participants

    •    Minimise the spread of COVID-19 within our community by engaging in best practices

    •    Maintain business continuity through the continuation of patron free race meetings

    •    Maintain the ability for Thoroughbred Park to continue as a training centre



As of the 3rd April and all foreseeable race days, we will be running participant only race meetings with the following guidelines in place which have also been adopted in NSW:


Attendance will only be provided to essential personnel, which on race day is restricted to the following:

    •    Stewards and Veterinarians

    •    Trainers, Jockeys and Stable hands with a runner at the race meeting. Trainers and Stable hands will only be allowed on course until their race has been run. When Jockeys commitments are finished for the day they will also leave the course

    •    Barrier Attendants, Starters and essential Track Staff

    •    Clerks of Course

    •    Judges and Sectional Timing Teams

    •    Weighing Room Staff and Jockeys Attendants

    •    Race day Event Staff and security including horse stalls, mounting yards and float car park

    •    Ambulance Services

    •    Farriers and other essential service providers approved by Canberra Racing Club

    •    Broadcast services including Race Caller

    •    Restricted Core Racing Media as approved by Canberra Racing Club

    •    Restricted operational Race Club staff and management

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 any essential personnel that:

    •    Is suffering from coronavirus symptoms or is otherwise unwell;

    •    Has been to a country considered at higher risk of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, currently mainland China, Iran, Italy and South Korea;

    •    Is subject to self-isolation requirements imposed by the Government; or

    •    Has been in close contact with a person suspected or confirmed to have coronavirus.

Further, if any essential personnel is in a high-risk group such as older people or people with underlying illnesses that make them more vulnerable to respiratory disease, including those with diabetes, chronic lung disease, kidney failure and people with suppressed immune systems, that person should not attend race meetings, barrier trials or track work (including accessing licensed training stables).


Access to Thoroughbred Park will be via two entrances which will be manned for the duration of the race meeting from 9am to after the completion of the last Barrier Trial. All other gates to access Thoroughbred Park will be locked. Should Thoroughbred Park be accessed by an individual who is not deemed as an essential person they will be asked to leave and will face disciplinary action. This is achievable due to the small number of patrons who are allowed on course in combination with the fact that the essential personal are easily recognisable.



Thoroughbred race meetings, barrier trials and track work (including access to licensed training stables) at Thoroughbred Park will not be open to the public (including horse owners), effective immediately and until further notice.



A number of profit generating areas of the Club have been affected by COVID-19. As a consequence all expenses within the Club are being reviewed and I would like to thank Members and Trainers for their support during this difficult time. Some of the specific changes that will be implemented for race meetings are as follows:

    •    The Members Tipping Competition will be postponed until normal racing resumes.

    •    Until further notice Canberra Form Race books will not be produced and placed online. All relevant race information will be still be available via Racing Australia.


Once again I would like to thank our Members and Trainers for your support. Stay safe and healthy and we as a Community will get through this together. I will continue to provide updates as they come to hand.


Please do not hesitate to contact the office on 02 6204 0000 or myself directly should you have any queries.



Andrew Clark

Chief Executive Officer

Canberra Racing Club

23 March 2020