No horse racing but president says there’s a positive
HORSE RACING: The iconic Gympie races have been put on hold until further notice due to COVID-19 but Gympie Turf Club president Shane Gill said there is one positive.
Gympie horses will be eligible to race at the Bundaberg Race Club following Racing Queensland's introduction of new regulations that toughen the restrictions on racing amid the coronavirus crisis.
"We might not be racing here but there are still races happening. It does not suit everyone but it is better than the alternative and that is not having any races," Gill said.
"It will be business as usual in Gympie once we are allowed to (resume) by the Federal Government and Racing Queensland.
"There is no time frame as to how long this will go on for, but once things are back to normal we will be promoting ourselves to get the community back on board."
To reduce travelling by jockeys, trainers and other essential personnel, Queensland has been split into eight racing regions.
Gympie falls into the South East Coastal Zone 4, which also includes Gladstone, Bundaberg, Monto, Mount Perry, Gayndah, Wondai, Nanango, Kumbia, Kilcoy and Esk.
All trainers who want to compete in events in zone four must come from the zone's towns and cities.
Jockeys allowed to compete in zone four can also ride in the adjacent Darling Downs Zone 3, which includes Toowoomba.
Bundaberg has been selected over Gladstone and Gympie to host all events in zone four, starting with this Sunday's meeting.
The club is also scheduled to hold Sunday TAB meets on April 19, May 3, May 17 and May 31.
The new two-person outdoor policy is creating challenges for all parties, but according to Bundaberg Race Club president Dale Rethamel it will not impact racing from going ahead at the moment.