KINGSTON, Jamaica – AFTER a three-month break, horses, jockeys, grooms, trainers, and owners return to Caymanas Park for competitive racing on Saturday next (June 20).
Based on the 10-race day projection recently issued by the racing office of promoting company, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), eight races will be offered on the first day. More than likely, given the long break, at least two of the races on tap will be split, possibly leading to 10 or 11 races.
Nominations for the Saturday card take place today at Caymanas Park, with a final programme expected to be issued tomorrow.
A spokesman for SVREL said that as part of the new normal of racing, nominations for Saturday races would be taken on the Tuesdays before, and for Sundays on the Wednesdays before.
When racing resumes on Saturday, it does so under the watchful eyes of the Ministry of Health, which has mandated that strict health protocols be maintained to protect professionals and others from the dreaded coronavirus.
Jockeys will have to wear masks in the Jockeys’ Room, the Saddling Barn, and Parade Ring areas, and while on their horses during the parade of horses and while going down to the starting gates.
During the running of a race, according to the protocol, jockeys can choose to wear a mask if they wish.
All starting gate attendants must wear masks doing their duties and in the official areas. Also, all starting gate attendants must sanitise before the start of each race. The starting gates will be sanitised at regular intervals during the race day as well.
Members of the public will be allowed to enter Caymanas Park during a race day in the three main areas; the Grandstand, the Club House, and the North Lounge. Patrons will have to maintain social distancing in these areas, all of which will have sanitising stations. Plus, these areas will be sanitised continuously during the race day.
All punters entering the race track must wear masks and maintain social distancing. Sanitising stations will be set up at all entry points of the Caymanas Park compound. The Caymanas entry points are Independence City, Meadowvale, and Gregory Park.
SVREL team members selling bets on the race day will have to wear masks and, in some instances, personal protective shields while dealing with punters. All betting machines will be sanitised several times during the race day.
In the Saddling Barn area, only three individuals will be allowed per horse excepting for the jockeys, and in all cases social distancing must be maintained as best as possible. In the Parade Ring, the rules of social distancing must be maintained throughout.
All trainers and grooms, assistant trainers, officials, and others so required, entering the Saddling Barn and Parade Ring areas must wear masks. These individuals will be sanitised each time they enter the areas as mentioned earlier.
The Saddling Barn area will be sanitised after each race.
The Trainers’ Room will have a sanitising station, and the area itself will be sanitised several times during the race day.