"It's crucial for us that we can keep racing and training for as long as we can."
Those were the words of Ballarat Turf Club chief executive Belinda Glass on Wednesday as she provided an update to the community via social media.
"We have 450-500 horses in work at the moment and that equates to about 170 staff just in the stables before we talk about vets, feed merchants, saw dust and shaving suppliers and all those other services that support the racing industry," Glass said.
"We have massive community benefit by keeping on going."
Glass' comments came shortly before racing in Victoria was temporarily suspended due to a licensed participant undergoing testing for COVID-19.
The meeting at Sandown on Wednesday was called off after two races and Thursday's Kilmore card has been abandoned while results are obtained.
Racing Victoria advised that the person in question had been on the same flight as a confirmed case of COVID-19 when they travelled on March 12.
RV said the participant hadn't shown any symptoms of the illness.
Ballarat trainer Archie Alexander managed a winner in the opening race at Sandown with Fort Wayne, which won a maiden 1500m event.
The Ballarat Turf Club's next meeting is scheduled for April 6.
This article was published as part of our ongoing coverage about the coronavirus. We have removed our paywall from our stories about COVID-19. This is a rapidly changing situation and we aim to make sure our readers are as informed as possible. If you would like to support our journalists you can subscribe here.