Mark Zahra and the racing community have received some relieving news with the jockeys test to COVID-19 resulting in a negative.
Racing in Victoria has been given a green light to proceed on Friday with a meetings at Warrnambool and a twilight meeting at Pakenham scheduled ahead of Saturday’s Golden Mile day stand alone meeting at Bendigo.
“Mark’s negative test paves the way for racing to resume in Victoria tomorrow and for this we are extremely grateful. We are acutely aware of the incredible hardship that many Australians are facing as at this time through the loss of their jobs, which is why we are continuing to work so hard to protect the livelihoods of all those within Victorian racing who depend on it.
“Victorian racing supports the equivalent of 25,000 full-time jobs through the employment of a vast array of people including trainers, stable staff, jockeys, breeders, vets, farriers, float drivers, administrators, officials and many more. At the centre of our sport is the horse and these people provide the critical care and attention that our horses require on a daily basis.
“In announcing the resumption of racing, I want to assure the Victorian community that racing will continue to operate under strict biosecurity protocols and where required act decisively, as we did when suspending racing yesterday, should there be any risk to the health of our industry stakeholders and the wider community.” RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson said.
Zahra travelled on a commercial flight from Sydney to Melbourne on March 12 with another passenger subsequently testing positive to COVID-19.
He flew to Sydney last Saturday for the Golden Slipper meeting on a charter flight which also brought jockeys Hugh Bowman and Tommy Berry home after they rode in Melbourne on Friday night.
Bowman and Berry have also since tested negative after racing was shut down on Wednesday when the matter became known.