No extra Covid-19 testing planned after Crosse's positive result

Shane Crosse (18), who was asymptomatic, was stood down from riding at Limerick

Shane Crosse tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Shane Crosse tested positive for coronavirus on Friday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

No extra testing for coronavirus is planned for Irish Champions Weekend after star apprentice Shane Crosse became the first jockey to test positive for the virus on Friday.

Crosse returned a positive result in a pre-travel Covid-19 test before a planned trip to Doncaster to ride Galileo Chrome for Joseph O’Brien in Saturday’s St Leger. The 18-year-old rising star was asymptomatic.

He now faces a 14-day isolation period and was stood down from riding at Limerick on Friday.

Four other jockeys based with O’Brien, some of whom it is understood live with Crosse, were also stood down from riding on Friday. Other precautionary tests were carried out as part of public health close-contact tracing.

Policy

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) doesn’t plan to change the admission policy for the Champions Weekend fixtures at Leopardstown and the Curragh.

“This is why the protocols are as strict as they have been, to ensure the numbers of closed contacts are as limited as they can be,” said an IHRB spokesman.

“That’s why we haven’t been using the weighroom and other facilities as we know them on Irish racecourses since we came back in June,” he added.

Separately on Friday, jump jockey Kevin Brouder was banned from attending a racecourse for eight weeks after breaching the raceday protocols at Galway on Monday. Brouder was also fined €500.

A referrals panel imposed the penalties after concluding that Brouder had acted “in a manner which is prejudicial to the integrity and good reputation of horse racing”.

At Galway the jockey admitted to wrongfully claiming an admission wristband for a passenger in his car and having brought her into the enclosure area.

Renewed focus

The positive test for Covid-19 from Crosse will place a renewed focus on racecourse protocol this weekend where racing continues to take place behind closed doors.

Face masks will be both mandatory both inside and outdoors at Leopardstown and the Curragh.

Sunday’s second leg at the Curragh includes four Group One races with the €400,000 Comer Group Irish St Leger featuring.

Joseph O’Brien saddles one of the favourites, Twilight Payment, in a race that also includes last year’s Irish Derby winner Sovereign.

The one three-year-old in the race is Sovereign’s stable companion, Passion. She is a sister to the former English Leger winner Capri and could make full use of the age for weight allowances.

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