As he prepares his contenders in two of Sydney’s signature races on the opening day of The Championships, trainer Mark Newnham believes horse racing in Australia is doing everything right to be able to continue.
While many major sports have had to stop competitions during the coronavirus situation, crowd-free racing is proceeding under strict biosecurity protocols for participants.
And Newnham believes it can continue that way.
“I’m very positive that we can keep going,” Newnham said.
“I get really upset when I hear members of the industry saying it’s inevitable we shut down. Well I see it the other way. I see that there’s no reason to stop when we are doing all the right things.
“It’s disappointing for owners on major days that they are not able to be there but it’s a lot better than the alternative, and that’s not being on.
“We’re being as responsible as we can be, following all the guidelines we’ve been given and I know that from my staff of a morning.
“It doesn’t change my lifestyle much. I come to work and go home. That’s what I do every day so I’ve been in self isolation for a long time but that’s a lifestyle choice more than anything.
“Generally if you’re working in racing, the hours we work we don’t mix a lot with the general public so it’s probably a good thing anyway.
“It’s something we’re mindful of and I’m sure my staff are fairly grateful looking at the rest of the community that they are still employed and they’re happy to adhere to whatever restrictions are put upon them.”
Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller also thinks racing is doing everything right going as far to say as he feels safer at the races than his local supermarket.
“I feel safer at the races than at the supermarket” Waller said.
The Championships Day 1 kicks off this weekend at Randwick behind close doors with horses racing for reduced prize money due to the coronavirus pandemic.