Champion jockeys Craig Williams and Nash Rawiller are among leading riders who have been stood down from rides at Flemington on Saturday, as fears of a COVID-19 spike loom over the country following an outbreak in NSW.
Williams, former Sydney metropolitan premiership-winning jockey Rawiller and group one-winning riders Luke Currie and Jake Noonan have all been forced to forfeit their rides on Saturday because they have all travelled to and returned home from Sydney in the past seven days.
Craig Williams is awaiting a COVID-19 test result and won’t compete at Flemington on the weekend. Credit:Darrian Traynor
The quartet have been told to isolate at home pending the result of a COVID-19 test. They were not allowed to ride at The Valley or Yarra Valley on Friday and will not be free to fulfil engagements at Sale or Horsham on Sunday either.
Trainers have been told to engage other riders.
"A further update will be provided on these riders once the result of their tests are known in the coming days," Racing Victoria said in a statement.
In the wake of the COVID-19 cluster around Sydney's northern beaches, RV is tightening its biosecurity protocols to ensure racing in Victoria is not affected.
"The northern beaches of NSW are now considered a COVID hotspot and any licensed participants or owners, who have spent time on the northern beaches on and from 11 December, 2020, will not be permitted to attend any Victorian racecourse or licensed premises until they have completed 14 days self-isolation, upon arrival in Victoria," it said in a statement.
"Licensed participants will also need to obtain permission from the stewards before attending any Victorian racecourse or licensed premises.
"As has been the case throughout the pandemic, transportation of horses from New South Wales [and other states and territories] to Victoria is allowed, provided the horses are transported by an approved float company and is permitted by any government regulations which are in force at the time."
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