The Victorian Government today has rejected the Victoria Racing Club’s (VRC) proposal to have owners on course during Cup Week. To say we are extremely disappointed is an understatement.
In light of this week’s easing of restrictions, including the reopening of retail and hospitality, we were really optimistic a controlled number of owners would have been able to attend Flemington to watch their horses compete in the most important week of racing.
VRC Chief Executive Neil Wilson and the team invested significant time and resources developing a very comprehensive COVIDSafe plan. It detailed how we would safely facilitate the return of members, general public and owners to Cup Week. When it became clear last week this would not be possible, we amended that plan to focus on the safe return of owners only.
Owners are critical to our sport and industry. Their support has played a major part in sustaining racing during the pandemic. We are devastated that they cannot be at Flemington.
Given this decision, our focus is now all about how we provide the best possible off course owner experience – connecting them to their horses on track at Flemington, regardless of where they are.