The Australian Turf Club is unlikely to monetize a limited crowd of 5,000 people for The Everest as it completes a COVID-safe plan that prevents horse owners in the world’s richest grassland from visiting the stalls.
While NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet is considering a proposal for an exemption to ease the crowd, industry sources say Herald NSW’s biggest race day could be a losing streak under current constraints.
Kevin Anderson, NSW’s Minister for Better Regulation, suggested at a Tabcorp Spring Carnival launch on Thursday that the current ceiling of 5,000 for major events under NSW’s 70 per cent double dose timetable could be massaged for The Everest at Royal Randwick next Saturday.
The state could hit its 80 percent vaccination target that weekend.
ATC has submitted an application for Royal Randwick to have a capacity of 25 percent for 11,000 fully vaccinated punters for the remainder of the spring carnival. Perrottet is expected to make a decision early next week.
Ex-Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian’s crisis cabinet last month rejected a proposal to allow 15,000 patrons on their way to The Everest, a decision approved by Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro.
But ATC is well on its way to planning the return of track volumes, starting with The Everest, which will be NSW’s first major event when the months-long lockdown is lifted on Monday.
According to the Racing NSW and ATC plan, owners are not allowed to mingle with trainers or even visit their horse on race day. Severe bubbles will be in place for industry participants, such as coaches and jockeys.