Sick jockey cleared after COVID-19 scare as hoops forced to miss meeting
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Sick jockey cleared after COVID-19 scare as hoops forced to miss meeting

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A jockey, who displayed flu-like symptoms, has returned a negative test to COVID-19, but not until after 10 Sydney jockeys were forced to miss Tuesday's Gosford meeting.

Racing NSW went to its COVID-19 response plan after the jockey, who last rode at Rosehill on Saturday, reported feeling ill. He was tested on Tuesday morning and within hours was cleared of the virus.

Jockeys have been subject to strict coronavirus protocols to keep the industry going.

Jockeys have been subject to strict coronavirus protocols to keep the industry going.Credit:AAP

"We have plans in place and Racing NSW doctor John Saxon was able to get a test done and to Laverty Pathology quickly, who we have a relationship with, and it has come back clear," chief steward Marc Van Gestel said.

"We didn't want the jockeys that rode at Rosehill on Saturday and mixing with another riders at Gosford as a precaution. Our protocol is to isolate those that had had contact with the jockey who was tested and it worked well.

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"Now the jockey has returned a negative test, we will return to our COVID protocols and all jockeys will be allowed to ride at the Kensington meeting on Wednesday."

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Racing NSW had taken every precaution and contacted 10 jockeys with mounts on the Central Coast, telling them to stay away from the provincial meeting. They included Rachel King, Tommy Berry, Sam Clipperton, Brenton Avdulla, Tim Clark, Jason Collett, Andrew Adkins, Adam Hyeronimus, James Innes jnr and Robbie Dolan.

Jockeys received a message early on Tuesday asking they attend a coronavirus testing centre, but once the negative test came back the other jockeys were not required to be tested.

The jockeys will return to work at Randwick's Kensington meeting on Wednesday.

The unavailability of the metropolitan hoops meant there were 30 jockey changes on the seven-event Gosford card.

Racing is the only Australian sport which continued uninterrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic, holding meetings behind closed doors throughout the lucrative Sydney autumn carnival. It had protocols have formed the framework for other sports around the country.

Jockeys were segregated in different areas around the racetracks and placed jockeys in three different riding pools throughout the state - metropolitan, north and south.

But those restrictions have been eased in recent weeks. Van Gestel said the jockeys were still able to segregated because they had ridden in different areas in the past couple of days.

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