Oakbank off with prize money cuts in SA

Thoroughbred Racing SA has announced prize money cuts to keep racing going while also cancelling the Easter jumps carnival at Oakbank.

Racecourse : Oakbank.
Racecourse : Oakbank.

An institution of South Australian racing, the Oakbank Easter carnival, has been called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

SA racing officials have also been forced into 15 per cent prize money cuts from April 1 to June 30 and changes to the calendar.

The changes include no black-type lead-up races to the Adelaide autumn features with the races at benchmark level.

Earlier this week the SA government closed the borders and ordered anyone entering the state to undergo mandatory 14-day isolation.

With jumps racing the highlight of the Oakbank carnival ,including the Great Eastern Steeplechase, the unavailability of riders as a result of the quarantine rules is a major contributor to the cancellation.

TRSA has also cancelled all non-TAB meetings until September.

Chief executive Nick Redin said TRSA was considering every option to keep the industry viable and racing.

Like other states, racing in SA is crowd-free and all thoroughbred activities restricted to essential racing personnel.

"Our aim is to keep racing going, just as it has been able to in Hong Kong and Japan during this pandemic," Redin said.

"It is vitally important that we keep going to ensure there is not a significant equine welfare issue that will arise should all thoroughbred horse activities be stopped.

"The mental health, wellbeing and welfare of our human and equine participants must be protected, and we will keep working hard to ensure this remains a focus.

"The prize money reductions are necessary to try to ensure the industry's ongoing viability."


AAP