Roma to host the only country racing meeting this weekend

Country Racing limits the venues in the interest of the sport

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Racing at Bassett Park, Roma, will be the only country racing venue option this weekend. Picture: Roma turf Club Facebook page.

Racing at Bassett Park, Roma, will be the only country racing venue option this weekend. Picture: Roma turf Club Facebook page.

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Racing Queensland doing its best to keep the sport alive.

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Under Racing Queensland's designated race regions across the state in a bid to further quarantine the industry from the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Roma Turf Club at Bassett Park will be the only venue for country racing this weekend. It will be conducted as a TAB event.

Barcaldine was the other designated meeting and this meeting has since been abandoned.

Metropolitan meetings will be at Eagle Farm on Saturday and Clifford Park, Toowoomba on Sunday.

A proventical TAB meeting will also be held at Bundaberg on Sunday.

Easter Saturday country race meetings will be at Emerald, while the Central Warrego meeting set for Charleville will be conducted by the Northern Downs Jockey at Dalby.

RQ has advised that further restrictions will be implemented today in relation to permitted on-course personnel of Friday.

Until further notice, media access to all Queensland race meetings, training centres and any other licenced facility will be limited to the following:

Accredited broadcast service providers (SKY Racing, PSP and On the Bit - Non-TAB) including race callers who are engaged in the meeting;

The official on-course photographer (maximum one per race club). An RQ appointed pool photographer may also be permitted.

All accredited journalists and camera operators - irrespective of their medium - are not permitted on-course

RQ introduced measures last week that provided five key thoroughbred regions. As part of the decision, thoroughbred racing will be consolidated to 15 racetracks and jockeys will be permitted to race in one of the five designated regions.

The thoroughbred regions are: Metro North (Brisbane and Sunshine Coast); . Metro South West (Gold Coast, Ipswich and Toowoomba); Darling Downs and SEQ Coast;. Central West and Central; and . North West and North.

RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said the health and safety of racing participants, who are presently confronting a challenge like no other is their paramount concern.

"These are unprecedented times and they call for unprecedented measures," he said.

"We must do everything within our powers to provide for the 40,000 Queenslanders who participate across the state."These are their livelihoods that are at stake.

"By introducing a regional racing model, we are able to further support the Queensland Government's direction to stay local, reduce non-essential travel and to limit the spread of this insidious virus.

"In this instance, the sheer size of Queensland is advantageous. The state is almost eight times larger than Victoria and twice the size of NSW and this presents racing a unique challenge and opportunity.

"While none of us know what is on the horizon, we can reduce the risk, limit the spread and collectively work together for the greater good."

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