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June 3, 2020

Owners with runners at Saturday’s 6 June Royal Randwick meeting who pre-register with the Australian Turf Club will be permitted on track to watch their horses run under the first phase of a return of spectators to Sydney racing.

All owners of horses at Saturday’s meeting will be invited to attend under strict NSW Government Public Health Orders which outline new protocols and procedures at Sydney racecourses.

Racehorse owners will also be given the first opportunity to purchase special sit-down dining and hospitality packages which will allow those patrons to attend all races this Saturday, 6 June.

Those owners who do not wish to purchase sit-down dining will be provided with a designated area where they can watch their horses race and then leave the designated area and the racecourse to provide capacity for owners with horses in later races.

The Public Health Orders require all pre-booked seating and hospitality numbers to be capped at 50 people per dining area, with bookings for this Saturday taken on a “first in” basis.

Owners who have an accepted runner on Saturday will receive an email with instructions on how to book a ticket.

The Australian Turf Club and Racing NSW have developed the new procedures and have worked closely with the NSW Government to be amongst the first major sport in NSW to allow spectators to return to watch live action.

The Australian Turf Club will install two body temperature thermal imaging cameras to monitor the temperature of patrons as they enter Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Jamie Barkley said the Club’s Executive and staff had worked tirelessly for several weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic to get patrons back on track as soon as safely possible.

“The safety of our jockeys and participants has been paramount to us continuing to race and we will now move that focus to include spectators on course,” Mr Barkley said.

“We are very pleased to be able to start to welcome back owners in this first phase and we will continue to work with the NSW Government to gradually allow more people including ATC Members to attend in coming weeks subject to the NSW Public Health Orders.

“The Australian Turf Club will have staff at all points of entry and in designated sit-down dining and viewing areas to ensure best practice bio-security measures for the safety and wellbeing of everyone on the track this Saturday.”

Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys AM said: “It was always the Board of Racing NSW’s priority to allow owners back on to the racecourse first as they are the lifeblood of the industry and have kept their horses in work during this crisis. This is just a small gesture of our appreciation for the owners.”

Mr Barkley said the timing and number of Australian Turf Club Members and general admission patrons returning to Sydney racecourses would be subject to all COVIDSafe Work Practices and Guidelines in ongoing consultation with the NSW Government.

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