Horse racing in Australia is continuing despite the coronavirus pandemic, with meetings being held behind closed doors.
Officials hope that will be the case for the big Championship days on April 4 and 11, with plans in place to ensure racing can still go ahead.
Racing New South Wales issued a statement explaining the situation, which read: ‘Only essential Racing NSW and Australian Turf Club staff, some licensed racing participants, and a restricted number of broadcast and media representatives will be permitted to attend.
‘Owners and Australian Turf Club Members along with general admission customers will not be allowed entry.
‘ The authorities also detailed why the prize money will be cut for the races, explaining that due to the absence of income usually provided by punters’ wagering there will be a reduction.
The statement added: ‘The main source of funding for prize-money is wagering – which will be significantly reduced by the current lockdowns of pubs, clubs and TAB retail agencies.
‘Other sources funding for prize-money, being on-course attendances and sponsorship, have also been severely impacted – given the public is not currently permitted to attend race meetings.
‘ William Haggas’ Addeybb will hope to shine in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on April 11 but will now compete for half the prize money after it was reduced to A$2million, while the same applies to the Sydney Cup on the same day.
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