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    Racing on ‘hold’ as Menangle, Leeton abandoned Racing on ‘hold’ as Menangle, Leeton abandoned

    EXCITING NEWS: HRNSW Chief Executive John Dumesny

    WITH Menangle and Leeton’s scheduled Tuesday meetings already on the backburners, the entire harness racing industry will now cross its collective fingers and hope... Racing on ‘hold’ as Menangle, Leeton abandoned

    WITH Menangle and Leeton’s scheduled Tuesday meetings already on the backburners, the entire harness racing industry will now cross its collective fingers and hope for good news before the weekend.

    The industry lost Menangle as well as Bathurst’s Wednesday night meeting and Penrith’s Thursday fixture as Harness Racing New South Wales went straight into precautionary control yesterday when one of its worst fears was realized.

    The Menangle meeting scheduled for Tuesday and Leeton’s night meeting were immediately abandoned when it was discovered someone who attended last Thursday’s Penrith meeting had been in contact with a person who had been confirmed to have contracted the COVID-19 virus.

    HRNSW moved swiftly in the hope of countering any possible spread of the virus and immediately notified everyone who had been in direct contact with that person, who was not a participant.

    Yet they were left with no alternative other than to temporarily suspend racing until the results of medical testing became available.

    HRNSW chief executive John Dumesny said declarations and acceptances for meetings over the weekend would go ahead in anticipation that they could get the all-clear to resume with major meetings like the Bathurst Gold Crown carnival, scheduled for Saturday night.

    “We have advised everyone who attended the Penrith meeting last Thursday (March 19) to closely monitor their health and seek immediate medical attention should they develop flu-like symptoms,” Dumesny said.

    “We’re taking these steps as a precaution and in these testing times we are being vigilant to the well-being of the industry participants, our staff and the wider community to ensure the safety of all.”

    Dumesny said they were definitely prepared to race on and everything was in place to resume racing while all of Australia worked to clean up this pandemic.

    “The meetings until Thursday have been abandoned because we will not have the results of tests until then,” Dumesny said.

    “I stress these a precautionary measures by HRNSW as we are a responsible identity with a risk-aversion ethos.

    “We’ll be ready to step straight back into racing if there’s a negative result to the test and we get the ‘okay’ to continue racing.”

    Dumesny said all three racing codes were looking at ways to continue racing every day through these testing times, including such things as regionalisation if it can keep racing going.

    “I’m confident we can continue through unless there is any necessary Government intervention,” Dumesny said.

    “We will certainly race when we can but will be compliant with any orders from the Government.”

    The results from the test are expected back in the next day later this week while a HRNSW staff member, who was at the Penrith meeting, will have their results back early next week.

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    Michael Court

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