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Tauranga horse racing closed to the public

No one will be trackside to watch the racing this Saturday. Supplied photo.

The Bayleys International Race Day this Saturday will go ahead but without the public.

This is Racing Tauranga’s biggest day of the year with the 49th running of the Group 2 Ultimate Mazda Japan Trophy, and the Owens Plate, says a statement from Racing Tauranga.

"In response to the coronavirus pandemic, NZ Racing is prohibiting public access to race meetings, restricting jockey movements, and taking other temporary steps during the pandemic.

"These steps are necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of our participants and ensure that our industry can continue to function in a time of national crisis."

For owners and race goers they will be able to watch the days racing on Trackside TV, but will not be able to attend the course at Racing Tauranga.

The only people at the course will be jockeys, licensed trainers and essential staff, race day officials and trackside TV.

Racing Tauranga General Manager Louise Dean says it's a necessary decision given the current circumstances.

"Bayleys Race Day was to include the ever popular Tauranga Crossing Fashion in the Fields. They will look to re schedule this at the Kiwifruit Cup Day in June.

"The ban will be in place at race courses across New Zealand until April 13."

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