I am writing to let you know about the steps we have taken to ensure you and your staff are as safe as possible when visiting Newbury Racecourse ahead of racing on 8 July 2020.
To ensure the smooth return of the racing at Newbury Racecourse, the following details will set out what you can expect when your horse runs on 8 July, in chronological order.
The racecourse stable will be open four and a half hours before the first race on racedays, with a checkpoint in place in Car Park 2 (Owners & Trainers car park) to ensure compliance with all safety protocols. There will be no overnight stays permitted and no arrival admitted before four and a half hours in advance of the first race. Stable staff lunch bags will be provided at The Lodge with strict flow systems in place.
Upon arrival, all relevant paperwork will be checked and temperatures of staff taken. If all is in order, staff will be issued with wristbands in order to allow my colleagues at checkpoints on the racecourse to quickly recognise that the individuals have satisfactorily passed screening at the stables.
Once through the check point the horse boxes will proceed to the racecourse stables to be unloaded.
Horses will enter the stables via the back gate next to the loading ramp, NOT via the archway at the front of the stables, where they will be scanned by the BHA EWIO, then follow the one-way system.
Trainers will be directed to Car Park 2 and follow temperature checks and procedures for access to the racecourse.
A one-way system of movement, clearly marked out will be in operation in and around the weighing room, meaning there will be no access to the weighing room itself for stable staff. Colour bags are to be deposited on a table inside the Berkshire Stand next to the relevant race number to be collected by the valet. After the race, the valet will return the bag to this same location for collection. Access to this area will be via the entrance to the Berkshire Stand, not via the entrance to the Weighing Room.
The Berkshire Stand will have a strict one-way system in place, but trainers can access the first floor for the viewing balcony, washroom facilities, and waiting area if required.
Horses are to be saddled up in the pre-parade ring as normal.
Once a jockey has weighed out, he or she should place their saddle equipment on a table provided outside the weighing room for the relevant trainer or assistant to collect.
Access to the parade ring is strictly limited. Trainers and jockeys should proceed to the parade ring lawn where they will find social distancing lines marked out to allow for pre-race discussions.
Entry to the parade ring will only be granted to those wearing a face mask and it is vital for all participants to keep in mind that Racing TV’s cameras will be pointed at this area throughout the day. It is therefore of the utmost importance that social distancing and hygiene measures are taken seriously, as any on-camera evidence suggesting the opposite would be damaging for the sport in what remains a precarious phase.
In order to keep owners as updated as possible, trainers will be permitted to record a video of their conversation with the jockey(s) in the parade ring on a mobile phone and share via email, WhatsApp or Racing Manager. Live calls via Facetime is also permitted. We ask however that you do not post these videos on any social media channels, as we are bound by media rights restrictions.
After each race, the winner and runner-up, if instructed, will proceed to the winner’s enclosure, while the remaining runners will be unsaddled in the usual area.
As you will be aware, we will welcoming two owners per runner at tomorrow’s meeting, operating at the Eastern end of the racecourse and provision has been made in order for you to be able to debrief with them before and after each race.
Stable staff and trainers may watch races on the big screen from outside the parade ring or track-side from the steppings on the Berkshire Stand/Hampshire Stand or lawn area in the Premier Enclosure. Please note that there will be no big screens on the far side of the track as usual.
A food concession will be in operation to purchase light snacks only and we will be providing complimentary tea and coffee from the Many Clouds bar. Washroom facilities will be open on the first floor of the Berkshire Stand and for stable staff in The Lodge.
Finally, thanks to our sponsor Oakley Coachbuilders, a Best Turned Out will be awarded for every race in the form of an Amazon voucher which will be issued after the raceday to the winning stable staff member’s yard to distribute to the winner, in order to avoid any handover of cash on the raceday.
Despite the unusual circumstances, we are delighted to be racing again at Newbury and I look forward to welcoming you all again.
Please get in touch if you have any questions.
With best wishes,