Melbourne Cup 2011 winner Dunaden – Photo © Taron Clarke

Racing NSW set to review border restrictions

Racing NSW stewards are set to meet on Monday to discuss the applications of two trainers who are looking to bring some of their horses back across the border from Victoria to New South Wales.

Currently, no horse from Victoria is allowed to cross into New South Wales. The protocol has been a serious hit for Albury trainer Mitch Beer and Donna Scott who were unable to get some of their gallopers back home before the rules were introduced.

Victoria has been the hardest hit by coronavirus, and are currently in the middle of their second strict lockdown. For that reason, Racing NSW has been forced to introduce strict new rulings in a bid to protect the safety of those involved with the sport in the state.

Wade Birch, who is the deputy chief steward, spoke to Racing.com about the issue.

“We have got a very large industry that’s (at) very large risk,” he explained.

“(The border trainers’ interests) have got to be balanced with the wider industry’s interests and just at the moment, we are not comfortable given those risks that we see and the advice we have.

“That’s why we need a little bit further time to consider the process and consider whether we could accede to Mitch Beer’s application without presenting a greater risk for our participants in NSW.

“That’s why we are reviewing the situation on Monday.

“There would need to be a process that satisfies us that any risk was mitigated. There’s a process put to Racing NSW and we will take advice on that process and if it needs to be refined, or added to, then that’s what we will do.”

Prior to the announcement of the stewards meeting to discuss the issue, Beer had been vocal on social media. He voiced his displeasure about the confusion surrounding the rule, a sentiment which many punters echoed.