Vic racing still waiting for test result

Racing is still on hold as Victorian authorities wait on the result of a coronavirus test on jockey Mark Zahra.

Racing Victoria said if the result was known by 7am Friday, the race meeting at Warrnambool could still go ahead while the twilight meeting at Pakenham could proceed if they knew by midday.

Zahra travelled on a commercial flight from Sydney to Melbourne on March 12 with another passenger subsequently testing positive to COVID-19.

He flew to Sydney last Saturday for the Golden Slipper meeting on a charter flight which also brought jockeys Hugh Bowman and Tommy Berry home after they rode in Melbourne on Friday night.

Bowman and Berry have since tested negative after racing was shut down on Wednesday when the matter became known.

RV chief executive, Giles Thompson said he appreciated the wait for the result was trying.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience as we await the result of the test, in particular for Mark who has been placed under undue pressure through no fault of his own,” Thompson said.

“I know that the best wishes of the industry are with him and I want to again thank and publicly acknowledge the professional and responsible manner in which he has acted.

“As I have stated on numerous occasions we have two clear objectives; to protect the health and wellbeing of industry staff, participants and indeed the wider community; and to provide a framework that allows for the safe continuation of Victorian racing for the 25,000 people whose livelihoods depend on it and for our horses which require ongoing care and attention.”