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

Current as at 25 October 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.

Please see the Latest News below for the current media statement on attendance at the 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

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

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


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 times. 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:
Epsom Rd 6:00am  7:00pm

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. When will spectators be allowed back on course for race meetings?

  • We are working with government and industry to plan for the safe, staged return of owners, members and spectators to Flemington.
  • As soon as we receive the green light on our plans from the health and industry authorities, we will start welcoming racegoers back to Flemington. 

Q. When will renewals open for the 20/21 racing season?

Q. Why are owners considered a higher priority than members?

  • We are still in discussions regarding the potential return to the track for a small number of owners. Government restrictions have expanded the definition of industry participants permitted to attend race meetings to those with a business need, and small numbers are currently permitted in regional Victoria. This decision will again be based on public health advice, and what is in step with broader community expectations.
  • This is absolutely not a reflection of the priority we place on our valued members, and we look forward to welcoming members back to Flemington Racecourse as soon as government restrictions allow.

Q. When will we be able to return to Flemington? In December?

  • We are still in discussions with government about the safe return of members and spectators to Flemington Racecourse in line with the easing of restrictions. We are hopeful that the easing of restrictions will allow the return of small numbers of spectators before the end of the year.

Q. In light of the government announcement that potentially only racing connections and owners will be permitted on course over MCC, what does this mean for my membership?

  • The recent changes we made to membership renewals for the 20/21 racing season took into consideration the uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential ongoing impact throughout the racing season. We believe the renewal offers are fair and balanced taking into consideration the very challenging COVID-19 circumstances.

Below is a recap of these changes:

  • The renewal due date for the 2020/21 racing season was extended to Thursday 1st October.
  • A reduction of 50% off your 2020/21 membership subscriptions (not including any Annual Absentee Fees), annual guest cards and annual car passes.
  • Automatic renewal of all existing Phar Lap Club and junior memberships for the 2020/21 racing season, with no fees payable.
  • Members that renewed by the due date received a $160 bonus on membership cards for use on course at Flemington in dining and hospitality venues throughout the 2020/21 season.
  • Members that purchased an annual guest card by 1st October 2020 for the 2020/21 season  receive a further benefit of $110 added to their membership card.
  • An instalment payment plan to enable you to pay your membership subscription in three equal payments throughout the season has been introduced. 
  • All existing Racing Rewards points and current food and beverage vouchers that were due to expire in the period between 1st March – 31st December 2020 will have their expiry dates extended by 12 months from the original date. 
  • All Racing Rewards tier status will be held and rolled over for the 2020/21 season and members who were eligible to elevate their tier status will have this automatically granted.
  • All remaining complimentary Racing Rewards guest passes will be honoured via individual race day ticketing, issued upon request.
  • An extended financial hardship provision providing all members access to a range of options that enable ongoing connection to the club if they are unable to renew for the 2020/21 season due to COVID-19 circumstances. A quick call to Customer Service will enable us to work through the best option for your own personal circumstances.

Q. What about the rest of the racing season if we are not able to attend?

  • The recent changes we made to membership renewals for the 20/21 racing season took into consideration the uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential ongoing impact throughout the racing season. We believe the renewal offers are fair and balanced taking into consideration the very challenging COVID-19 circumstances.

    See above for a recap of the revised renewal offers.

Q. Will you be providing a refund on my membership now that we cannot attend MCC? 

  • No, we will not be offering a refund on your membership or any other fees. We believe the revised offers for the 20/21 racing season are fair and balanced taking into consideration the very challenging COVID-19 circumstances.

    See above for a recap of the revised renewal offers. 

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

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.

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.