In a major breakthrough for racing on the North-West Coast, trials can resume at Spreyton and the Devonport Showgrounds from next weekend and races from June 13.
This brings all codes of racing on the North-West Coast into line with the rest of the state.
The return-to-racing plan had originally excluded the two Devonport venues from any trials or races due to the coronavirus situation.
From Saturday May 30, gallops trials can be held at Spreyton and harness and greyhound trials at the Devonport Showgrounds.
Racing Minister Jane Howlett said it was an "important development for the racing industry and will mean that participants from the North-West will not be disadvantaged when racing restarts on June 13."
The first Spreyton trials are likely to be on Tuesday June 2.
Up until now, North West participants wanting to trial their horses or dogs have had to travel to Launceston or Hobart.
Like it is in the rest of the state, the resumption of race meetings in Devonport is still subject to a review and assessment of the COVID-19 situation by Public Health.
But, if all goes to plan, it will relieve pressure on the Mowbray turf track which is traditionally given a break during winter.
Tasracing is expected to release a new racing calendar early next week.
CALL FOR EARLIER RESTART TO RACING
Opposition racing spokesman David O'Byrne believes the successful completion of trials this week has paved the way for an earlier restart to race meetings.
"The trials this week show Tasmania's racing industry is ready to get back on track and there is no reason why it cannot resume ... from next weekend (May 30-31)," he said.
This is two weeks earlier than currently planned.
"Right from the start, the shutdown of the industry has made no sense," O'Byrne said.
"Tasmania was the only state or territory to take this drastic step ... and while the Government worked with other sectors, like building and retail, to help them continue operating during the COVID-19 crisis, it has treated the racing industry with contempt.
"As a result, we've had horses and trainers leaving the state with the latest to go the stallion Needs Further, sire of Mystic Journey.
"The shutdown exodus is a huge blow to our breeding industry."
O'Byrne said there was no material difference between the people who need to be on track for a trial or race meeting and, with spectators banned and strict social distancing measures in place, the threat to the public is far less than industries like the retail sector.
"Racing employs more than 5000 Tasmanians and generates more than $100 million in economic activity and every week that the industry remains shut down risks those jobs and threatens the industry's viability," he said.
TOUGH TIMES SEE STUD FEES REDUCED
Armidale Stud has reduced the service fees for its two Tasmanian-based stallions in response to the difficult circumstances confronting the industry.
Alpine Eagle will stand for $5500 and Tough Speed $2500 plus GST.
Stud manager David Whishaw said: "In light of the current global situation resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing financial downturn, we have taken the decision to reduce our Tasmanian fees by an average of 20 per cent in a bid to assist breeders through these unprecedented events."
Armidale announced earlier this week that its boom stallion Needs Further would stand in Victoria this year at a fee of $12,500.
Grenville Stud has also announced its 2020 fees with Zululand standing for $5500, Stratosphere $4400 and Mawingo $3300. All fees include GST.
LONGFORD TRIALS MOVED TO MOWBRAY
The barrier trials scheduled for Longford next Tuesday have been moved to Mowbray on Wednesday.
Patches of the Longford track are considered unsuitable for racing.
The second set of thoroughbred trials since the shutdown were held at Elwick on Friday.
Brendan McShane was the busiest trainer with six runners including the winner Off The Show and Team Wells supplied the other three winners.
There will be seven harness trials at Mowbray on Saturday morning and another 10 in Hobart on Monday.