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The minimum riding weight in NSW is to be temporarily raised one kilogram to help jockeys during the coronavirus pandemic.

Racetrack spa facilities have been closed for health reasons meaning jockeys cannot use them to assist in weight loss.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’Landys said on Wednesday the minimum weight would go up from Monday.

“Racing NSW is to raise minimum weights by 1kg for the health benefit of jockeys and improve their resistance to getting sick,” V’Landys said.

“The well-being of our participants is paramount. This change will stay in place indefinitely until the virus situation changes”.

The one kilogram increase comes after a request from the NSW Jockey’s Association to increase the minimum weight from 53kg to 54kg.

* Metropolitan races – Minimum weight raised to 54kg

* Provincial and Country races – raised to 55kg

* All country and provincial races will now have a minimum of 55kg (excluding Listed races)

* All metropolitan handicap and set-weight races a minimum of 54kg (excluding Group One handicaps and WFA) – true weights will still be permitted at the discretion of trainers and jockeys

* In all metropolitan Saturday Benchmark and Open races the rider is permitted to ride at a true weight not less than 52 kilograms and must be declared no later than 9am on the day of acceptances.

* In all Group Two, Group Three and Listed Handicap races run in the metropolitan area the rider is permitted to ride at a true weight not less than 53 kilograms

* Other Group, Listed or feature races as determined by Racing NSW run outside the metropolitan area will continue to have a 54kg minimum. Two-year-olds in any set weight race can still utilise the 54kg minimum if applicable

The two biggest handicaps during the carnival, the Group One Doncaster Mile and the Sydney Cup, will continue to be assessed with further information regarding the possible raising of weights made in due course.

As is the current case all jockeys can continue to apply to ride 1kg over the advertised weight in any race. In Group One races, applications up to 2kg can be made.

 
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