WINNER: Grant Arnold's Cristavao took home a win in Roma last Saturday despite new racing restrictions.
WINNER: Grant Arnold's Cristavao took home a win in Roma last Saturday despite new racing restrictions.

New COVID-19 racing laws to restrict jockeys and trainers

RACING: New racing regulations require jockeys, trainers, and racing officials to have their temperatures tested before stepping onto a racetrack and spectators barred from watching the races unless they have a Racing Queensland licence badge.

Dalby and Northern Downs Jockey Club junior vice-president Kerry Jiggens told News as of last Saturday, Racing Queensland implemented the new racing zones to accommodate to changing laws regarding COVID-19.

According to the new laws, Dalby has been placed in Zone Three, which will allow jockeys and trainers to compete in Roma and Charleville once a fortnight, and once a month at Dalby’s Bunya Park.

Measures will also be taken among racing personnel to stem the spread of COVID-19.

“Our temperatures are taken once we arrive there and if your temperature is up you’re restricted from entering the complex,” Jiggens said.

“There’s no public that are able to attend those meetings unless you have a licence badge.

“At least we’re still racing, that’s the main thing.

“A lot of these trainers have their horses ready to run and we’ve got limited races there, but it’s all good.”

Dalby’s first race meet will be on April 25, when the Picnic Races were scheduled.

However the races will be without the usual buzz of racegoers.

“All that program has been changed now,” Jiggens said about Dalby’s most popular race day.

“It’ll be just like a TAB meeting that Racing Queensland has set down.”

On the first day of the new regulations last Saturday, Dalby’s Grant Arnold took home a win at the Roma race day with Cristovao winning race three by 2.7 lengths, ridden by jockey Hannah Phillips.

Jiggens said while it was a relief local trainers and jockeys would still be able to compete, it was still a shock to the system to have the new restrictions in place.

The impacts of the restrictions, Jiggens said, would have a long-lasting impact on the local racing industry.

“It’s just made it hard for trainers that have had horses prepared and ready to race,” she said.

“A horse that’s prepped may not get a start for a few weeks … we’re very limited to the races that we can nominate the horses in.

“It’s put big restrictions on everyone.”

Jiggens said the new regulations would be implemented indefinitely.