Tamworth trainer Cody Morgan has backed the new restrictions introduced by Racing NSW despite it meaning he has had to find new jockeys to ride for him at Friday's Muswellbrook meeting, and a new rider for Ligulate in next Saturday's Country Championships Final.
Under new measures in operation from Friday, jockeys will only be permitted to race in the region they have nominated to with Racing NSW segregating the state into three regions - metropolitan, north and south/west.
Morgan is hopeful the restrictions, which are designed to limit travel and exposure to the virus, and try and contain the impact should someone within the industry be affected, will be a life line to allow them to continue racing for a bit longer.
But as he said, with the ever-changing nature of the situation "you just don't know".
"It's just uncertain times. But that's for every business," he said.
"You know we're still going at this stage."
A lot aren't.
He said the governing body have done a great job to keep the industry still operating, but admitted he wasn't planning anything beyond Sunday's Armidale meeting, which he has nominated three runners for.
Well aside from next Saturday at Royal Randwick.
The new restrictions mean that Samantha Clenton, who piloted Ligulate to victory in the Tamworth qualifier, won't be able to ride the gelding in the final after she elected to ride in the northern region, which the Hunter and North West Racing Association falls into.
Morgan has also had to source new riders for the three runners he has nominated at Muswellbrook, with the three he had booked unavailable after nominating to race in other regions.
"But I'm not the only one," he said.
"It's just crazy times."
He said has been "very lucky" to secure James McDonald to replace Clenton, who he said rode "incredibly well" in the qualifier.
"The horse wouldn't have won without her," he said.
McDonald has ridden the four-year old a couple of times, and won on him, when the horse was with James Cummings.
Morgan said he has been talking to the HNWRA head steward Shane Cullen, and the steward in Sydney about what their plans are for the country-based trainers for next week.
"At this stage they're going to try and segregate us when we go down there," he said.
He said he usually tries to stay with a friend when he goes down to Sydney but "hasn't rung them".
After his dominant win, Ligulate is the current equal favourite in the betting.
"[But] In the wider scheme of things - it's a horse race," Morgan said.
"Everyone's health is more important."
When The Leader spoke to Morgan he was waiting for news on the Muswellbrook meeting. Thursday's Hawkesbury meeting was abandoned and Wednesday's Warwick Farm meeting cancelled after five races after an 'interstate participant', who attended Saturday's Rosehill Gardens meeting received advice he had potentially been exposed.
At the time of going to press the meeting was still going ahead.
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