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Aussie Jockey COVID-19 Scare

Travelling on same flight

Wednesday’s meeting at Warwick Farm had to be postponed and racing won’t resume in Sydney until Friday at earliest on the back of the news a licenced participant in Victoria will undergo a coronavirus test.

Racenet reports that Racing Victoria suspended racing midway through Wednesday’s Sandown card and won’t race on Thursday after a jockey had been told they were on the same flight as someone with coronavirus when travelling on March 12.

RV reported the participant is currently displaying no symptoms of the virus but results won’t be confirmed until Friday.

It is understood the jockey could have come in contact with fellow hoops in other states including NSW after riding in the state in recent weeks.

The jockey is understood to have ridden at Randwick barrier trials on the 12th before jetting back on a Melbourne-bound flight while also taking part in the Golden Slipper meeting last weekend at Rosehill.

Racing NSW confirmed the reports in a statement late on Tuesday.

“Racing NSW received advice this afternoon that an interstate participant – who attended the Rosehill Gardens meeting on Saturday, 21 March 2020 – has received advice from health authorities that a commercial flight he caught on 12 March 2020 has had another passenger from that flight that has tested positive to COVID-19,” it said.

“As the interstate participant travelled in a private charter flight with two other NSW participants and to minimise the risk of participants at today’s Warwick Farm meeting being exposed to COVID-19, the remainder of the Warwick Farm meeting has been cancelled.”

Racing NSW stewards on track pulled the plug on Wednesday’s Warwick Farm meeting with three races remaining on the card.

“There is information that an industry participant that has recently participated at a meeting in Sydney has possibly been exposed to COVID-19,” Racing NSW Deputy Chairman of Stewards Wade Birch told Sky Racing.

“On advice we have taken the decision to abandon the meeting immediately.

“As my superiors have said, the health and safety of our riders in paramount. The decision has been taken in that regard.”

Racing NSW have also decided to abandon Thursday’s Hawkesbury meeting as they also await the results of tests. Narromine will go ahead as planned.

“In the event the interstate participant tests negative, Racing NSW will immediately resume racing subject to any Government restriction,” the RNSW statement concluded.

Racing is one of the last remaining sports in action in Australia but has been battling to stay alive as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause havoc globally.


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