HANGING Rock's annual Australia Day race meeting will move to Kyneton due to concerns over the club's ability to implement the required COVID safe measures.
The decision by the Kyneton and Hanging Rock Racing Club (K&HRRC) means that both of Hanging Rock's two annual race meetings will have been run at Kyneton this year.
Hanging Rock's 2021 New Year's Day meeting will also run at Kyneton.
Explaining the club's decision to members, K&HRRC general manager Jon Dight said he hoped it would provide certainty to members, racing fans and industry participants.
"The club advised Racing Victoria that it would be difficult for the Club to implement the required COVID safe measures at Hanging Rock under the current public event requirements," he said.
"I realise that the race meeting is still over a fortnight away and there is the potential for further changes and the easing of restrictions to government requirements in that time, but felt it was important that we give our members, racing fans and participants certainty now on where our club will be racing on Australia Day.
"As the restrictions and protocols stand at the moment it would be extremely difficult to hold a COVID safe race meeting at Hanging Rock.
"While we as a club are disappointed that we won't be going to Hanging Rock this season, we are grateful that we have been able to continue to race through this pandemic.
"We now look forward to welcoming members and patrons to Kyneton for the bet365 Hanging Rock Cup on Australia Day under COVID safe protocols."
As it did for the January 1 meeting, the club has organised a range of race-day packages for spectators, including public lawn seating under an umbrella for groups of five and 10 people, grandstand seating and dining room viewing.
For details visit: https://country.racing.com/calendar/2021-01-26/hanging-rock-cup-at-kyneton
Preference will be given to K&HRRC members.
Entry is by pre-booking only, with no walk-up entry on the day permitted.
Patrons are required to carry a face mask while on course, and the mask must be worn indoors or when unable to maintain a minimum of 1.5 metres from other people outdoors.
Spectators are not required to wear a face mask while seated outdoors, at their table, or in the grandstand.
Access to all racing operation areas, including the mounting yard and stabling area is strictly prohibited.
TAB and bookmaker betting facilities will be on course.
The club is urging anyone showing any COVID-19 symptoms to refrain from attending.
"The important thing to note is that you must remain seated," Dight said.
"You will not be permitted to roam around the track and mingle with others.
"This means that you cannot leave your seat and head down to the rails to watch the horses or visit the mounting yard or stabling area."
The popular Hanging Rock races regularly attract crowds of up to 4000 people.
Australia Day race meetings will also be run at Caulfield and Balnarring.
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