COVID-19 lockdowns have thrown a cloud over Magic Millions preparations, but officials are still hopeful The Wave meeting can proceed on the Gold Coast tomorrow.
RACING Queensland is awaiting direction from the state government, but is hopeful tomorrow’s rich Wave meeting at the Gold Coast can proceed.
Officials were sent into a frenzy on Friday morning when Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced Greater Brisbane would be locked down from 6pm Friday evening.
RQ spoke to the relevant government officials Friday morning and stated the case for racing to proceed.
As of mid-morning, they were hopeful the Gold Coast meeting could go ahead, along with other races scheduled for south-east Queensland this weekend.
Racing was able to proceed last year during Queensland COVID lockdowns and RQ is hopeful the protocols that allowed that to happen can be used again in this instance.
The key to the outcome is having racing participants deemed as essential workers.
If indeed the meeting is given the green light, with horse travel allowed, the next aspect will be whether Brisbane-based jockeys and trainers will be permitted to attend.
Under the government direction on Friday, it would be permissible for trainers and jockeys to travel to the Gold Coast before 6pm and participate at the Gold Coast meeting.
The Gold Coast Turf Club expects the meeting to be given the green light and have forecast only a 10 per cent downturn in the anticipated crowd of 8000.
More than 5000 tickets have been pre-sold for The Wave raceday.
“We will roll back the saddling enclosure so that it is participants only and no owners,” GCTC Chief Executive Steve Lines said.
“We will go back to what we were in tougher COVID restrictions to protect the industry.”
Offers were made on social media for temporary horse accommodation for Brisbane-based horses scheduled to race at the Gold Coast.
Fenwick Farm, 40 minutes inland from Aquis Park Gold Coast, said due to COVID restrictions they were “opening our gates for anyone needing last minute housing for their horses racing on the Gold Coast tomorrow.”
Originally published asRQ still hoping to ride the Wave
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