COVID-19 IMPORTANT INFORMATION

An update from the Victoria Racing Club on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Current as at 13 May 2020

The global COVID-19 pandemic is a very confronting and unprecedented situation that has impacted everyone. Our thoughts remain with every person affected by COVID-19 and the VRC is determined to do its part by taking decisive action to help minimise the spread of the virus and its effect on the community.

This page will serve as an information hub for VRC members and our community, which we’ll update regularly as new information relevant to members, partners, industry participants and the wider public comes to hand, as well as updates on Flemington events. If you require specific information, please contact our Customer Service team by emailing customerservice@vrc.net.au.

Thank you for your continued support of the VRC and we look forward to welcoming you back to Flemington as soon as we can.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Q. What measures has the VRC implemented in relation to COVID-19 and physical distancing?

  • We have closed our offices to visitors for the foreseeable future and directed staff that can work remotely to do so.
  • We have also placed our Flemington Horse Training Facility into lockdown, meaning that only essential staff and authorised service providers are permitted to enter.

Q. Is Flemington Racecourse completely closed to the public?

  • No – our racecourse grounds, excluding the Flemington Horse Training Facilty and tracks, are still open for public use, and we encourage the community to continue enjoying our gardens and wetlands for personal exercise and walking pets. Visitors are reminded that they must comply with social distancing requirements, and all pets must be on a leash and under the control of their owner at all timesd. The track itself is off limits.
  • The Smithfield Road Gate is closed to the public, with access to Flemington Horse Training Facility restricted to essential staff and authorised service providers only. Please use the Epsom Road Gate or Hill Gate to access the racecourse.
  • Gate access times are as follows:
GATE OPEN
CLOSE
Epsom Rd 6:00am  7:00pm
Hill Gate 5:00am  Sunday - Wednesday: 11:00pm
Thursday - Saturday: 1:00am

Smithfield Rd
(Flemington Horse Training Facility
essential staff and service providers only)

2.30am 6.30pm

Q. Can I use the racecourse ground to hold a fitness class?

  • No, the grounds cannot be used for fitness classes.      

Q. What about scheduled race meetings? Are they continuing?

  • Race meetings are proceeding as scheduled under strict biosecurity and social distancing measures, with access restricted to essential participants only and the racecourse closed to spectators. 

Q. Will COVID-19 impact the Melbourne Cup Carnival?

  • Although the effect of COVID-19 on all sectors, particularly sports and cultural events, has been severe, the VRC is planning for the Melbourne Cup Carnival to go ahead as it has done for almost 160 years. 
  • The Melbourne Cup Carnival is an iconic Australian event, generating thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars for the economy every year.
  • The VRC is looking at a number of different scenarios so that we can emerge from this crisis and stage one of the nation’s greatest events that bolsters not only Victoria’s tourism, hospitality and retail sectors, but the spirits of a nation.

Q. Will the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour still go ahead?

  • We are planning for different scenarios if the threat of COVID-19 is still active later this year.  

Q. When will the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour begin?

  • Considering the current climate and the implications of COVID-19, a decision on the start date of the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour will be made in due course.  
  • We are planning for different scenarios if the threat of COVID-19 is still active later this year. 
VRC MEMBERS

Q. With the decision to run race days without spectators, what does this mean for our membership?

  • It is still too early to assess the full impact on your membership as this will depend on how many more race days are conducted without spectators. We will continue to work through this complex situation and its impact on your membership and communicate with you as more information is known. 
  • We are also working with our corporate partners to deliver value to members in other ways, including through our VRC at Home Hub.

Q. If the season is impacted can members get a refund on their membership?

  • At this time we are unable to make any decisions regarding membership subscription fees as we continue working through the day-to-day impact of COVID-19 on the whole VRC business, which includes our racing personnel, horses, staff, suppliers, and most importantly our members.
  • We are working with our corporate partners to deliver value to members in other ways, including through our VRC at Home Hub.
  • We will keep members updated as more information comes to hand and the situation becomes clearer.

Q. What about members’ dining packages?

  • Again, at this time we are unable to make any decisions regarding hospitality packages as we continue working through the day-to-day impact of COVID-19 on the whole VRC business, which includes our racing personnel, horses, staff, suppliers, and most importantly our members.
  • We will keep members updated as more information comes to hand and the situation becomes clearer.
FLEMINGTON HORSE TRAINING PRECINCT

Q. What is the VRC doing to be able to continue operating during this time?

  • The VRC, in consultation with Flemington trainers and Racing Victoria, have placed the facility into lockdown, with only essential staff and approved service providers allowed to enter the Flemington stables, trackwork and jump outs.
  • All essential staff and approved service providers have been placed on a list that is supplied to VRC security at two entry points to the Flemington Horse Training Facility. Anyone not on this list will be denied access.
  • Those passing through the security check points will be temperature checked to ensure they do not have a temperature of 37.6 or above before entering the Flemington Horse Training Facility.

Q. Who is classified as essential staff?

  • The VRC classifies licensed trainers, registered stablehands, licensed jockeys, RV officials, club staff and essential personnel (vets, farriers, medical staff, feed merchants, horse transport drivers) as essential staff permitted to attend trackwork and jump outs at Flemington.

Q. Can owners with horses trained at Flemington visit the stable?

  • No. Unfortunately owners are not permitted to enter the Flemington horse training precinct which includes stables or trackwork. We thank them for their understanding.
  • These measures have been put in place to protect participants to ensure the ongoing care of our horses and give racing the best chance of proceeding in the current environment at Flemington.
  • The VRC will continue to film jumpouts for owners to access via www.flemington.com.au/racing-and-events/jumpouts.

Q. Why is the VRC undertaking these measures?

  • This is a challenging time for everyone and we want to ensure the health and wellbeing of people at Flemington.
  • Equally as important for us is the health and wellbeing of our horses. It is absolutely essential that the horses at Flemington receive the best care regardless of whether racing continues or not, and that means keeping the people who look after them safe as well.
  • Here at Flemington we have 19 trainers who employ a large number of staff, so together we have a duty to ensure the job security of those people.
  • We hope that we can band together with the entire industry to ensure racing continues through this difficult period.

Q. How long will the lockdown of the Flemington training precinct last?

  • The lockdown of the Flemington training precinct will be in place until further notice.
FLEMINGTON EVENTS

Q. Is Cirque du Soleil’s KURIOS still going ahead?

  • Performances for Cirque du Soleil’s KURIOS have been suspended and Cirque du Soleil is contacting ticketholders about their options via their original point of sale.
  • More information is on the Cirque du Soleil website, or by calling the Cirque du Soleil Customer Service Team on 1800 036 685 between the hours of 9am-3pm, Monday through Friday. 

Q. I have a function booked at Flemington, will it be affected?

  • Please get in touch with your Flemington Event Planner to discuss the impact, if any, on your event.

Further information on the status of upcoming events is on our Events page.