Racing Minister Kevin Anderson praises industry's lockdown effort

STAYING SAFE: Face masks have been one of the many requirements at tracks in NSW in recent times. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE
STAYING SAFE: Face masks have been one of the many requirements at tracks in NSW in recent times. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

NSW Racing Minister Kevin Anderson has congratulated everyone in the industry for their ongoing work in the challenging COVID environment.

Racing is one of few sports which has been able to continue during the lockdown, but strict restrictions have been in place at tracks all over the state.

Anderson, speaking to Sky Thoroughbred Central from Tamworth on Monday, said he was proud to see the overwhelming majority of those involved with the sport enduring it can continue.

"The industry is to be congratulated for the way they've held it together," he said.

"They've held the line and observed the Public Health Orders and operated in a COVID safe way.

"This industry is such a significant employer and contributor to the state and nation's economy so it was important it continued to operate.

"That's food on the table, that's a roof over people's heads, that makes sure jobs are able to continue. I want to give a huge shout out and thank you to everyone in the thoroughbred racing industry who have continued and done the right thing."

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Jockeys around the state have been restricted to racing in certain zones, while plenty of restrictions have been in place on race day, and crowds haven't been allowed trackside as only essential personnel can attend meetings.

Those challenges have forced a number of meetings, especially those at smaller race clubs, to be cancelled.

Anderson said getting to the 80 per cent double vaccination rate and beyond in NSW is key to getting patrons back at the track.

That 80 per cent target is likely to be reached in the coming weeks, meaning crowds could be back for major meetings at Dubbo Turf Club.

Meetings scheduled at Dubbo include the annual bumper Derby Day (October 30), Melbourne Cup Day (November 2) and Ladies Day (November 14).

This story 'The industry is to be congratulated': Praise for racing during lockdown first appeared on Daily Liberal.