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Group of 25 jockeys agree to isolation in effort to keep racing going

The finish of the 2019 Melbourne Cup was won by Vow And Declare (near), whose jockey Craig Williams has agreed to isolate
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A group of 25 jockeys, including Melbourne Cup winners Craig Williams, Damien Oliver and Brett Prebble, will be isolated and not allowed to ride outside of racedays from midnight on Saturday, March 21 under a radical plan announced by Racing Victoria on Thursday.

The riders agreed to participate in the initiative as racing tries to keep the impact of the coronavirus out of the industry.

The move will see those 25 jockeys not able to ride trackwork, trials or jumpouts and will be asked to isolate themselves as much as possible away from the track.

They are also not permitted to travel to or from race meetings with any jockey outside the selected group, with individual travel preferred, and must separate themselves from other jockeys at race meetings as much as possible.

Three-time Melbourne Cup winner Damien Oliver will isolate as much as possible away from the track

In announcing the move, Racing Victoria and the Victorian Jockeys' Association said there would be an extra jockeys' room made available for them.

There will also be multiple sets of scales for weighing-out and weighing-in to assist in segregating the selected jockeys from others riding at each meeting.

"The segregation of our riders into groups is all about providing the industry with options should a rider be diagnosed with Covid-19. In simple terms, this is another insurance policy to help the industry keep ticking along whilst many other sports have been forced to suspend competition," said Racing Victoria boss Giles Thompson.

"We appreciate that today's announcement may not be ideal for all stakeholders, however, we make no apologies for doing everything in our powers to build a framework that will give us the best shot of continuing racing in Victoria through this period of uncertainty."

The 25 jockeys

Craig Williams
Dwayne Dunn
Damien Oliver
Jye McNeil
Ben Melham
Damian Lane
Mark Zahra
Linda Meech
John Allen
Mick Dee
Jordan Childs
Brett Prebble
Michael Walker
Damien Thornton
Ethan Brown
Zac Spain
James Winks
Michael Poy (a)
Teo Nugent (a)
Fred Kersley (a)
Lachlan King (a)
Liam Riordan (a)
Mitch Aitken (a)
Lewis German (a)
Thomas Stockdale (a)

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This is another insurance policy to help the industry keep ticking along whilst many other sports have been forced to suspend competition
E.W. Terms