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Victorian owners given OK to attend races

After a delay of 24 hours, owners have now been given the green light to start returning to Victorian race meetings to watch their horses compete.

But there will be protocols in place from Tuesday’s meeting at Ballarat and restrictions on numbers and where owners can be situated on the racecourses.

Owners were scheduled to be allowed to attend race meetings in the state from Monday at Swan Hill but Racing Victoria announced on Sunday that had been pushed back while they finalised appropriate COVID safe protocols.

RV announced late on Monday that owners would start returning to Victorian tracks from Tuesday’s Ballarat meeting.

Owners, and other spectators, have not been permitted on Victorian tracks since mid-March.

The owners who attend race meetings will be segregated from racing participants on the racecourses and RV and Country Racing Victoria are working with the race clubs to ensure they have the appropriate protocols in place.

RV said there would be a time limit on owners being on course and a maximum of 30 owners per race with pre-registration required.

Owners will be managed by the respective race clubs in accordance with Victoria’s social gathering guidelines.

Up to 20 owners will be permitted for each indoor space at a racecourse provided they are seated in accordance with hospitality guidelines.

Up to 10 owners can gather in a group outdoors at a racecourse provided they remain separate from other groups.

“We are delighted that we now have a framework that allows us to start welcoming owners back to race meetings when their horse is engaged,” RV chief executive Giles Thompson said.

“The circumstances may differ slightly from one track to another, but the fundamentals will be the same around attending to watch your horse race and then leaving thereafter, whilst adhering to all social gathering restrictions.”

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