The Sydney-based Australian Turf Club has been given the go-ahead to invite its members back to the track as racing in Australia begins further unwinding from the coronavirus lockdown. Previous restrictions end immediately, meaning that the meet at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday will be the first available to members since the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival that spans March and April.
Members will be emailed today by the ATC with guidance on how to pre-register, purchase dining and hospitality packages and book reserved seating to comply with the current NSW Government Public Health Order.
The ATC owns and operates thoroughbred racing, events and hospitality venues in Sydney and came into being in 2011 with the merging of the Australian Jockey Club and Sydney Turf Club merged. Their venues are the Sydney tracks at Royal Randwick, Rosehill Gardens, Canterbury Park & Warwick Farm.
Racing has continued at ATC venues during the coronavirus lockdown but with a strictly limited number of attendees, as The DAIMANI Journal reported early last month.
Hospitality packages for Saturday’s meeting are available in the renowned Winning Post Restaurant as well as the popular TJ’s Champagne Bar and these will allow ATC Members to remain at Rosehill Gardens for the entire raceday.
Owners with runners at this Saturday’s Winter Cup Day will also be able to attend if they pre-register online. All Members and owners who pre-register online are able to nominate one guest each to attend this Saturday.
Everyone attending will be monitored by state-of-the-art thermal imaging cameras which take body temperatures as part of the Australian Turf Club’s extensive health measures for racing participants, patrons and staff.
Australian Turf Club Chief Executive, Jamie Barkley, said the return of Members to the track was the latest step in welcoming more patrons back to Saturday racedays: ‘Members are the lifeblood of our Club and it has been a priority of the Australian Turf Club management and staff to welcome them back safely on course. We look forward to providing Members with our award-winning service and hospitality under best-practice health and safety measures.’
Rosehill Gardens recently had the benefit of an AUD22m refurbishment of the JR Fleming Stand with the key objective of improving the race day experience. The works included significant improvement to the betting ring, audio visual experience, all amenities and food and beverage facilities. The internalisation of the existing outdoor ‘betting ring’ was one of the key additions to the building with the aim of providing better weather protection and usage to this key race-day activity.
There is a certain synchronicity to the fact that racing resumes at Rosehill Gardens. It was at that same venue that the world’s richest race for two-year-olds, the Longines Golden Slipper, was run in late March. The Slipper race meeting, including five Group 1 races, was the first to test out the new biosecurity protocols of the ATC that allowed racing to continue but with the public and members locked out.
Image: © Taylor