Racing authorities are in the early stages of assessing how the coronavirus could affect the Sydney autumn carnival and the sport in general in 2020.
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys will meet Australian Turf Club officials on Friday, after returning from the America, to start a risk assessment on the deadly virus for the autumn carnival.
Racng NSW has started preparing a risk assessment about coronavirus and how it could effect crowds for the autumn carniavlCredit:Brook Mitchell
Coronavirus is expected to be declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation and State and Federal governments are well advanced in planning for a possible outbreak in Australia.
“We are undertaking a risk analysis into this situation and will seek medical advice to develop an appropriate strategy,” V’landys said.
He was in an NRL annual general meeting on Friday morning, which was no doubt preparing its own risk assessment on coronavirus.
There are precedents being set around the world where sporting events are be cancelled and held without crowds.
Hong Kong has been holding race meeting with only essential people on course for the past couple of weeks because of coronavirus and Japan made a similar order on Thursday. It came after health authorities warned against large gathering of people in one place.
Racing officials said that would be a long way off in Australia, but would form part of the planning.
An ATC spokesman said the club would be guided by health authorities and make decision in concert with Racing NSW about the carnival.
The club is still confident Doncaster favourite Mozu Ascot and Queen Elizabeth Stakes favourite Damon Premium would go in for two weeks pre-export quarantine next week and will be able to make the trip to Sydney.
There are no concerns about stable staff, who would travel with the horses, but they would be tested for the coronavirus before coming to Australia.
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