MEDIA RELEASE: COVID cancels King Island racing season

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Following a decision to cancel the King Island race meeting on Saturday 8 January because of an increase in the number of COVID cases on the island, race meetings for Saturday 22 January (King Island Cup), 29 January and 5 February have also been cancelled.

Tasracing CEO Paul Eriksson said the current level of COVID cases on the island was a key consideration.

“The King Island Racing Club was also very concerned about the risks associated with hosting the remaining three race meetings,” he said.

“Given the current risk for people travelling to King Island, public health advice and the racing club’s own position, Tasracing has cancelled the remainder of the King Island racing season.”

Mr Eriksson said looking forward, the health of stewards, jockeys and staff travelling to King Island for the race meetings was a factor in Tasracing’s deliberations.

“A COVID issue in the stewards’ ranks would place the rest of the summer carnival at some risk which we obviously want to minimise as much as possible,” he said.

Mr Eriksson said stakes from the cancelled King Island race meetings would be used to pay subsidies to King Island trainers who had animals in work at 1 January 2022 on the island for the race meetings.

“These payments are important for local trainers,” he said.

“Just as important is an early decision that will allow trainers to turn their horses out for the rest of the season.”

Race meetings at Scottsdale (7 January) and at Burnie (23 January) that were postponed because of COVID concerns will be run at a later date.

Mr Eriksson said Tasracing was in discussions with the relevant clubs regarding new dates which will be announced as soon as they were finalised.