The Jockey Club has taken yet another step towards restoring normality on race days, shifting the first race back to 1pm and allowing entry to all owners as of this Saturday’s meeting at Sha Tin.

For the last month only key personnel, staff and owners with starters have been allowed on course, but that was increased to “voting members with seasonal tables” for Wednesday night’s Happy Valley meeting and numbers will grow again this weekend.

“With the aim of gradually making the racecourses available to more customers, the Hong Kong Jockey Club has decided that not only owners with starters but any owners with a successful prior table booking will be admitted to the Sha Tin race meeting on March 14. However, no guests will be admitted. The same arrangements will apply to voting members,” the Jockey Club said in a statement.

All members are allowed entry to Sha Tin as of this weekend.

The Jockey Club will continue to employ precautionary measures such as social distancing, temperature screenings and the wearing of masks.

While numbers have been reduced to below 500 in recent weeks, they could swell to somewhere in the vicinity of 2,000 from Saturday and that could increase again ahead of next weekend’s prestigious BMW Hong Kong Derby.

Jockey Club increases number of people allowed at races

Races have been starting at 12.15 since October 20 after initially being moved due to transport and safety concerns created by the anti-government protests, but will return to the traditional 1pm time slot.

Racecourse cross betting is still unavailable and betting at all off-course betting branches remains suspended.