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THE SUNSHINE COAST NEWSPAPER COLUMN: FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT AGAINST THE ODDS

By Graham Potter | Saturday, March 28, 2020

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

There can be no doubt that the racing industry is fighting the good fight against the coronavirus. It has been complaint to a fault in terms of following the ‘best practises’ approach as outlined by the government and health experts, and it has continued to be proactive on a daily basis to independently take the next steps such as the separation of its participants, creating new restricted racing precinct zones and placing restrictions of their own on interstate personnel allowed to attend local race-meetings … and more.

One step has followed another … all going in one direction with one intention, namely to limit the risk and defuse the threat of the virus as much as possible while also keeping the racing industry alive.

It has not been easy for all of those working within the industry in the last few weeks to keep their focus on the important job at hand, as they would normally do, because there has been a growing expectation amongst many that there is an inevitable conclusion to racing’s plight and that the next media release or the next phone call will bring the racing world as we know it to a full stop. And you can’t even call that alarmist thinking when you look around and see what is happening to the rest of society. A positive mindset is a great thing but fair to say that attribute is being tested more and more with each passing day although, again, all credit to racing participants for keeping their chins up and keeping the show going.

Looking over your shoulder all the time can wear you down though and to say it is a tough time for everybody, everywhere is an understatement with both the short-term view and the long-term outcome of the current crisis shrouded in uncertainty.

If racing can survive it will be a major plus for the economy where everything else is collapsing. The not inconsiderable revenue it brings to government will help prop up an already embattled treasury as well as keeping thousands and thousands of workers in a job and away from the stress of the dole queue. That would be a great outcome.

That is what racing is fighting for … not be a ‘racing only’ benefit, but for a win for all.

This week racing stumbled for a couple of days while awaiting a coronavirus test result from just one individual which thankfully came back negative That countrywide episode though did underline the fragile situation with regard to the immediate future of racing. One misplaced droplet could wash it all away.

Participants have done a fantastic job so far in playing a responsible part in keeping racing going this long.

The hope is that their diligence continues to be rewarded and that racing life can continue, against the odds, even in these craziest of times.

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