Shane Crosse will miss the ride on Galileo Chrome in Saturday’s Pertemps St Leger at Doncaster after testing positive for Covid-19.
One of the leading apprentice jockeys in Ireland, Crosse was due to partner Joseph O’Brien’s progressive colt in the final Classic of the British Flat season on Town Moor, as well as his stablemate State Of Rest in the bet365 Champagne Stakes.
Crosse had also been booked for some high-profile mounts on the second afternoon of Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh on Sunday, but will now have to sit out the action after returning a positive test ahead of travelling to the UK.
Dr Jennifer Pugh, senior medical officer for the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, said in a statement on Friday afternoon: “Shane was completely asymptomatic and was very surprised to learn of the test result. He was not unwell and hadn’t engaged in any high-risk behaviour. He is now in isolation for 14 days and has worked with us on identifying his close contacts.
“We have been in communication with Public Health today, notified them of the test, and they are happy with the steps we have taken. It means that those who have shared a car with him, and those who live with Shane, have been informed they must also self-isolate for 14 days. As directed by Public Health, contact tracing commenced on Friday morning and testing will be carried out today of all close contacts of the index case.
“We have been prepared for this and have responded accordingly, and this case reinforces just why we have had such strict protocols in place since racing resumed on June 8. These measures ensure that social distancing is taking place at racecourses, and face masks and coverings are mandatory both inside and outside.
“Shane is employed by trainer Joseph O’Brien and we have been working with Joseph this morning to provide contact tracing and testing of Shane’s close contacts. Joseph’s horses will run today as planned, but as a precaution these horses will be taken care of by staff from other yards.
“Public Health are satisfied with our protocols and the measures we have taken, and for racing to continue under strict protocols behind closed doors.”
Crosse rode at Navan on Thursday and at Galway and Cork earlier in the week, but Dr Pugh confirmed it was not a necessary requirement for all jockeys riding at those meetings to be tested.
She added: “The only people that need to be tested are Shane’s close contacts, so his family, the people he’s travelled to the races with and so on – the advice has been clear on that throughout.”
Padraig Beggy and Emmet McNamara are due to travel from Ireland to ride in the St Leger after being booked to partner Aidan O’Brien’s pair of Dawn Patrol and Mythical respectively.
Pugh confirmed the pair are “unaffected” by Crosse’s positive test and free to make the trip across the Irish Sea.