COVID-19 IMPORTANT INFORMATION

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

Current as at 11 June 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.

Visit CUPWEEK2020.COM.AU

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

  • Renewals for the 20/21 racing season will open in early July. You will receive communication via email and post. 

Q. Who is eligible for the $160 bonus?

  • Full, Pre79, Life, Provisional and Restricted membership renewals are eligible for the $160 bonus.

Q. What date do I need to renew by to be eligible for the $160 bonus?

  • To receive the $160 bonus you must renew your 20/21 Full, Pre79, Life, Provisional or Restricted membership, including making the applicable payment, by the renewal due date. This will be advised in your renewal communications in early July.

Q. When will I get my $160 bonus?

  • The $160 bonus will be loaded onto your membership card within 7 days of renewing your Full, Pre79, Life, Provisional or Restricted membership for the 20/21 racing season. 

Q. If I renew my 20/21 membership using the installment payment plan am I eligible for the $160 bonus?

  • Yes, members that use the instalment payment plan to renew their 20/21 membership will receive the $160 bonus.

Q. How can I use my $160 bonus?

  • Once you have renewed for the 20/21 season, your $160 bonus will be loaded onto your membership card within 7 days. To use the bonus simply scan your card when purchasing food or beverages at any permanent retail venue within Flemington racecourse. 

Q. How long will the $160 be valid for?

  • The $160 bonus is valid for the duration of the 20/21 racing season. Any unused portion of the $160 bonus will expire on 31st July 2021.

Q. Where can I use my $160 bonus?

  • Your $160 bonus can be used at any permanent retail venue within Flemington Racecourse. 

Q. Can the $160 bonus be used to book dining?

  • The $160 bonus cannot be used to book dining. It can be used to pay for ‘walk up’ dining, if available, when you are on course at Flemington.

Q. Who is eligible for the Annual Guest Card additional benefit of $110?

  • All Full, Pre79, Life, Provisional or Restricted members who renew for the 20/21 season, including paying the applicable fee, and also purchase an annual guest card by 1st August, 2020, will receive an additional $110 benefit, applied to their membership card.
  • The $110 additional benefit can be used when purchasing food and beverages at any of the permanent retail venues within Flemington racecourse. 
  • The $110 will be loaded to your membership card within 7 days of renewing and paying your Full, Pre79, Life, Provisional or Restricted membership and purchasing an annual guest card by the due date for the 20/21 racing season.
  • The conditions of use, including expiry date, for the $110 benefit are the same as apply to the $160 bonus.

Q. How will the instalment payment plan work?

  • This year we will introduce an instalment payment plan for your membership subscription. The payment plan will involve the ability to pay in three equal instalments throughout the year, with the details included in the renewal communications you will receive in early July 2020. The payment plan will be governed by the Membership Conditions, which apply to all memberships of the club.

Q. What are the fees for 20/21 racing season?

Due to COVID-19, all membership fees, and any optional passes will remain unchanged from 2019/20 season. The prices are listed below:

MEMBERSHIP SUBS
Full $529
Restricted $305
Junior $76
Phar Lap Club $10
OPTIONAL PURCHASES
Guest Pass (annual) $448
Car Pass (annual) $102
Restricted Guess Pass (annual) $260
Restricted Car Pass (annual) $92

Q. What if I cannot afford to renew my membership for the 20/21 racing season?

  • If you are facing financial challenges arising from COVID-19 and are therefore unable to pay your membership subscription we encourage you to contact our Customer Service representatives to discuss your individual situation. Customer Service will be open to manage any hardship calls in early July in line with the opening of membership renewals.

Q. Will Racing Rewards points be extended due to COVID-19?

  • Yes, all Racing Rewards points that have an expiry date between 1st March 2020 and 31st December 2020 will be extended by 12 months from the date of their original expiry, to ensure members have ample time to redeem. 

Q. Will Racing Rewards Food and Beverage vouchers be extended due to COVID-19?

  • Yes, all Racing Rewards Food and Beverage vouchers for the current racing season 2019/20 (expiring 31st July 2020) will be extended by 12 months until   the end of the 20/21 racing season 31st July 2021) to ensure members have ample time to use them at Flemington. 

Q. What will happen to my Racing Rewards tier status for the 20/21 season?

  • All Racing Reward tier status held as at March 2020 will be automatically rolled over for the 20/21 season.
    In addition, members who will move tier status in the 20/21 racing season due to tenure, or had already met the criteria for tier elevation based on spend or attendance as at 31st March 2020, will have their tier elevation automatically granted

Q. Can I use any remaining 19/20 Racing Rewards guest passes in the 20/21 racing season?

  • Unfortunately, we are unable to extend the expiry date of any remaining 19/20 Racing Rewards complimentary guest passes. 
  • For the 20/21 racing season, we will issue complimentary guest passes upon request, limited to the amount of your unused 19/20 complimentary guest pass entitlements
  • All usual terms and conditions for use of the complimentary guest passes will apply.

Q. What happens if I renew my membership but can’t attend the 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival due to COVID -19?

  • At this stage we are working closely with the Victorian Government and Racing Victoria with the aim to have crowds return to Flemington Racecourse. Should the 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival proceed without patrons we will reconsider the impact on memberships at that time.

Q. When will the 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival go on sale for members?

  • At this stage we do not have a set on sale date for 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival however we are currently working through preparations for the Cup Carnival and will be sure to communicate further information in the coming months. 

Q. When will members be able to return to Flemington?

  • Whilst we don’t have an exact date that members will be able to attend race days at Flemington we are working closely with the Victorian Government and Racing Victoria with the aim of a gradual return of patrons on course. As soon as we have more information we will communicate this to you.

Q. Will the Club refund a portion of 2019/20 memberships for the race days missed?

  • The 19/20 season is made up of 25 race days. 22 race days have been delivered so far this season and 18 of those race days were open for members to attend. This included the entirety of the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival and the 2020 Autumn Racing Spectacular.
  • The VRC is not offering a cash refund in relation to race days that members were prohibited from attending in the 2019/20 season due to Government COVID-19 restrictions. VRC has, however, committed to providing all renewing Full, Pre79, Life, Provisional and Restricted members a $160 bonus, upon renewal of their membership.  
  • We are further supporting members by providing the option to pay their renewal subscription fee for the 20/21 season in three equal payments over the course of the year. 
  • In addition, any member adversely effected by COVID-19 is welcome to contact us to discuss potential entitlement to a financial hardship offering.
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.