Alpha Races to go ahead without patrons
THE annual Alpha Races will be held this year without patrons.
The Alpha Jockey Club announced on Friday that it would follow Racing Queensland’s decision to hold races without spectators during the coronavirus pandemic until further notice.
The emailed update read: “The Racing Queensland restrictions mean that access will only be permitted to licenced participants who have a horse engaged at the meeting, along with essential club ... and associated staff.
“Access will not be permitted to the general public in any code, nor owners or on-course wagering providers.”
Nobody has yet bought tickets to the races.
Club president Kevin Wiltshire said usually more than 3000 people attended the race.
He said it would not especially damage the club financially, since Racing Queensland would pay the prize money and the vet and ambulance services.
“Realistically it’s only going to be the volunteers there,” he said. “It’s no cost to the club.”
Racing Queensland will review its policy on April 13.
“We’re waiting until then before we make a decision whether we’ll proceed [with later races] or not,” Mr Wiltshire said.
“We’re just holding on until they make their next public announcement.”
The Alpha Races will be on June 27 regardless.
“To ensure the continuity of thoroughbred racing in the Central West, the Alpha Jockey Club still plans to conduct its race day, under any restrictions outlined by Racing Queensland.”
In Victoria and New Zealand, jockeys have been allowed an extra 2kg of weight to strengthen their immune systems.