EbeneMagazine – AU – ‘It was a mistake’: Victoria’s racing minister forced to back down on Cox Plate participants

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Victoria’s racing minister backed down on decision to allow owners and relations to attend the 100th Cox Plate this weekend

On Twitter, Martin Pakula said he heard comments from the community and spoke to the Moonee Valley Racing Club to reconsider his decision

The Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC) had a deal with the Victoria government allowing up to 500 owners and connections to attend Friday night’s Manikato Stakes, and the same number for the Cox Plate reunion on next day

In a statement, the Victorian government said measures in the approved COVID security plan for the events included a cap on numbers, phased arrivals, time limits and temperature checks

In total, there would have been a maximum of 1,250 people on the course for each race meeting, including jockeys, club operations staff, security, COVID commissioners and the media

« No more than 1,000 people will be allowed on the course at a time – normally the site can accommodate 38,000 people, » the statement said.

However, just after 9:00 p.m. AEDT, M Pakula said the decision was « a mistake, as other restrictions remain in place, and we’ve heard comments from the community »

« Tonight I spoke to the Moonee Valley Racing Club and the decision was overturned Owners will not return to the track until we reach the next step in easing restrictions I apologies for any upset that has been caused « 

He said the initial agreement was motivated « solely by respect for the occasion and the desire to mark a small step on the path to reopening »

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« We support and respect the government’s decision on this issue, » MVRC CEO Michael Browell said on Twitter

Officials had resigned themselves to not having crowds at the races when, in early September, the government announced its initial roadmap to ease restrictions, but subsequent changes to that plan opened the door to the conclusion of an agreement

« Changes to health official guidelines that allow people with business needs to attend race meetings mean matches will be able to attend metropolitan tracks where COVID security plans are in place underway , under defined conditions, « the statement told me

The statement said the catering service would be take-out only and that a time limit for owners on race days was still being finalized, the statement said

« There have been a few curved balls thrown throughout this process, » he said

« We have worked diligently over the past week to 10 days to finalize these plans and gain support from the government and DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services)

Australia’s premier weight-for-age horse race has the added challenge of being scheduled on the same day as this year’s AFL Grand Final

« We can work hand in hand here It can be complementary We take the afternoon, then the big night final », said M Browell

« We are just happy that the race can take center stage in a historic weekend in Australian sport »

No deal was made for crowds to attend the Melbourne Cup in Flemington on November 3

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and BBC World Service which is copyrighted and may not be reproduced

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Cox Plate 2020, Cox Plate

EbeneMagazine – AU – ‘It was a mistake’: Victoria’s racing minister forced to back down on Cox Plate participants



SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com/news/ebenemagazine-au-it-was-a-mistake-victorias-racing-minister-forced-to-back-down-on-cox-plate-participants/?remotepost=442666

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