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With South Australia thrown into a state-wide COVID lockdown, Racing SA worked late into the night to persuade Government officials that racing participants are authorised workers.

It means racing can continue in SA, although the timing of the announcement was too late to resurrect the Gawler meeting set down for Wednesday.

SA will race at Morphettville on Saturday, then the following week meetings are scheduled at Balaklava on Wednesday, Gawler on Thursday, Morphettville on Saturday and Port Augusta on Sunday.

Racing SA chief executive Nick Redin said in a statement that while racing and trackwork can continue, it means owners will not be allowed on course unless they are actively engaged and have the appropriate license in place.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the State Government, the State Coordinator and SA Health for permitting racing to continue, as it has in all other mainland States, during this period,” Redin said.

“It is extremely important from an equine welfare perspective that horses in work can continue to be exercised.”

Other measures put in place during the lockdown include social distancing at all times, trainers must advise stewards the names of all personal attending race meetings, staff must check in via QR codes or sheets upon arrival at the course or training venue.

Also, masks must be worn at all times on a racecourse with the exception when on horseback and essential personal must leave the racecourse or training venue and return to their place of residence to isolate as soon as their engagement is complete.

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