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Sport Coronavirus: Two jockeys return negative tests for COVID-19; Mark Zahra still awaiting result

07:50  26 march  2020
07:50  26 march  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

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a man riding a horse © Getty Images

After yesterday's news that a jockey who had ridden in both NSW and Victoria recently was being tested for coronavirus, fears began to rise within the racing community.

Horse racing across the country has been suspended today except for a meeting in Narromine as the governing bodies await the test results for Mark Zahra.

But in some good news, the other two leading jockeys in question - Tommy Berry and Hugh Bowman - received negative results in regards to COVID-19.

In a statement from Racing NSW, they are awaiting Zahra's test results before resuming racing - hopefully on Friday at Muswellbrook and Sapphire Coast.

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"Racing NSW confirms that the two NSW industry participants that had travelled on a charter flight on 21 March 2020 with an interstate participant who may have been exposed to COVID-19, have both tested negative to COVID-19," it said.

"Racing NSW awaits the result of the tests performed on the interstate participant which are due today, before advising of the status of upcoming race meetings."

Saturday's Rosehill meeting that features two Group 1 events will now likely go ahead.

Racing Victoria are in a similar boat in regards to waiting for Zahra, however their chief executive Giles Thompson had some interesting comments on Thursday morning.

Thompson said that even if Zahra does return positive for COVID-19, it doesn't necessarily mean that racing in the state will be suspended.

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"The simple answer is it depends," he told RSN Radio.

"It depends on the results of the contact tracing. In theory, if there are enough people that haven't been exposed to Mark in that period of time, in theory we can (continue).

"Who's left standing, if you like, and those who've been exposed to Mark (would require self-isolation), but it's not necessarily over.

"But it'll take some work to establish how to continue racing. As far as where we are now, we're all waiting for a test [result] basically.

"We're hopeful for an answer today, it can't be guaranteed, we're at the mercy of the system and we're in the queue like everyone else."

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