The Queen's royal thumbs up for racing in Australia

The DAIMANI Journal has already reported how horse racing in Hong Kong continues albeit without any crowds, official VIP Hospitality guests or even racehorse owners and their connections.

The same is true in Australia, a fact that was a subject of delight for the Queen yesterday, when she spoke with Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.

‘Her Majesty was very pleased to hear our horse races were still running,’ the Prime Minister wrote on his Instagram account

Prime minister Scott Morrison in discussion with the Queen about many matters, including the happy news that horse racing in Australia continues.

The Australian Turf Club, whose racetrack portfolio includes Royal Randwick and Rosehill Gardens, has become one of the go-to authorities on how horse-racing can reinvent itself in a safe biosphere, protected from the dangers of coronavirus.

Some of the specific protocols in place:

  • Like Hong Kong, there are no spectators or owners at the track;
  • less than 300 people attend any given meeting;
  • Jockeys are temperature tested upon arrival at the course;
  • Each jockey is isolated in up to eight separate jockey rooms;
  • Jockeys and trainers are kept separate and trainers can no longer give jockeys leg ups onto their horses;
  • All race day staff including clerks of course and barrier attendants wear gloves and face masks.

And despite the lockdown, the marketing whizzes at the ATC were able to pivot their sponsors last month from the traditional live showcase of high-fashion around The Star Championships to one that took place entirely digitally, user-created and filmed from the safety of everyone’s homes.

This was the ATC’s stay-at-home competition for male and female fashionistas

And this was a short video of the best of the best:

The Queen’s knowledge of horse-racing is the stuff of legends. And her racing links to Australia run deep. She owned Arabian Story who finished sixth behind Might And Power in the 1997 Melbourne Cup.

And in 2016 her horse Bold Sniper won at Sandown giving the Queen her first Australian winner. Trainer David Hayes took a call on his mobile from the Queen congratulating him and his stables while Hayes was watching his team the Crows play Aussie Rules at the Adelaide Oval.

And of course it was at last year’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes that the real queen of Australian horseracing, the super-mare Winx , signed off in such blisteringly memorable style with her 33rd consecutive victory, her 25th straight Group 1 win.

Is that something in your eye??

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Charlie Charters is a former rugby union official and sports marketing executive turned thriller writer whose debut book Bolt Action was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2010.
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