Ballarat Turf Club welcomes owners back on course for the first time in months on Thursday and its chief executive Belinda Glass says there's no push to allow more than permitted numbers by state government advice or take any unnecessary risk for its November Cup meeting.
The government reversed a decision to allow 1000 owners attend the Friday-Saturday double-header at Moonee Valley this weekend after widespread backlash.
Many criticised the inconsistency with metropolitan Melbourne's COVID-19 restrictions, particularly the small cap on funerals.
Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria confirmed on October 8 that owners who reside outside metropolitan Melbourne will be given the opportunity to attend regional race meetings when their horse is engaged to compete. This started on October 12.
The Ballarat Cup meeting is scheduled for November 21.
"At this point in time, we don't know what the government or industry restrictions and protocols of the time may allow in terms of people on-course in a month's time. What we do know, is that it will not be the traditional event that we are used to," Glass said.
"If there are patrons on-course, we would expect they will be in very small numbers.
"Our club is not campaigning for crowds, to allow more than permitted numbers by government advice or take any unnecessary risk.
"For some months now as there has been speculation in small crowd numbers returning to racing late in spring, our committee has always said our approach will be cautious and in the best interests of our stakeholders and community.
"BTC awaits further government advice following the anticipated reduction in regional restrictions as early as next week and following the weekend's AFL grand final."