Border closure adds strain on Albury stable


“From what we’ve seen with the closure of the Queensland and NSW border, these guys are working two shifts a day so I’m hoping it’s not going to be a two-hour wait each way.

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“To be coming to work for the morning and afternoon shift with two hours added onto their day each way is going to be very difficult, but we’re going to have to hope and manage.

“If there’s issues coming across the border I’ve sent an email to them that I’ll just rent a big Airbnb if it all becomes too difficult for them and logistics become too hard and they’re welcome to come and go this side of the border.”

Beer has already been forced to find new suppliers, veterinary staff and farriers in recent months due to Racing NSW restrictions on licensed staff.

The former Mornington trainer has not been able to leave NSW without enduring mandatory quarantine and has gone from running a third of his runners in Victoria to just five per cent.

“We probably had a 65 per cent NSW and 35 Victorian [runners], that’s been cut back to 95 and five, which has probably been OK for the last good couple of months,” he said.

“I had a nice two-year-old win the Jack Maher Classic at Wodonga; it had to go nearly two days before the race. It was there on the Thursday night to race Saturday; I couldn’t go, my staff couldn’t go.

“From a government point of view, I’ve been freely allowed to travel to Victoria across the board, as much as I want; Racing NSW has put a rule in place for any trainer, they’re not allowed to leave the state.

“Any horse that’s racing in Victoria from NSW has to be there by 9am the day prior and once they enter the other trainer’s stable, they become responsible for it.

“It’s a lot to ask of someone. Dan McCarthy and Ciaron Maher have helped me out enormously, but you don’t want to stretch the friendship.”

Beer said his owners understood that the majority of his horses would be racing solely in NSW for the foreseeable future.

“Unfortunately you can’t log into a Zoom meeting and look after 45 horses from home,” he said.

“From a logistics point of view, it’s too hard [to go to Victoria] and if you’re having your horse racing you want the trainer to be there and the cost of getting them down there and back is another thing as well.

“It’s just frustrating. It seemed like everything was going in a good direction and for this to happen, it’s a big setback but it’s much better than having 40 empty boxes and 14 people without a job.”

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