THE DAILY ADVERTISER
MONDAY, MARCH 31
By JON TUXWORTH
TRAINER Chris Heywood says the coronavirus outbreak which threatens to halt racing at any time virtually forced his hand in running the in-form Corazon De Oro in Saturday’s Wagga picnic meeting.
After a host of picnic meetings were cancelled in the region, Wagga officials agreed to put on the meeting to give trainers, owners and jockeys a much-needed chance to earn prizemoney.
The six-year-old mare was scheduled to run at Albury’s Gold Cup carnival before hurting herself on the morning of the race.
However Heywood said they had little choice but to chase the $3400 winner’s cheque on Saturday despite the clear class edge over her rivals.
“This race came up and I thought with the way things are going we have to take what we can get at the moment,” Heywood said.
“It (uncertain climate) did play a factor in her running Saturday. As you know we might get stopped tomorrow, and we’ll look for something at a full TAB meeting for her over the next week or two.
“The only thing with her is she goes better with a gap in between runs, but at the moment we have to take what we can get.”
Last week NSW jockeys were asked to designate one of three regions in the state they wish to ride, in a bid to restrict movement by riders.
But Heywood said more drastic steps should be taken to ensure the racing industry doesn’t join other sports in grinding to a halt.
“Personally I think they should be a bit tighter on things. If they want to keep going, NSW and Victoria have to lock their borders like every other state has.
“If you’re in Victoria stay in Victoria, if we’re in NSW we stay in NSW. The way it is it’s a bit silly.
“As long as everyone does the right thing we’ll survive, but it only takes one person to do the wrong thing and we’re buggered.”
Former Wagga jockey Jody Hughes also had a big day on Saturday with two wins aboard Metro Missile ($7) in the Class B Handicap (1150m) and Lutece ($4.40) in the Picnic Maiden Plate (1050m).