With less than a handful of sporting codes still being conducted across the country, Stawell-based horse trainer Dane Smith is "thankful" he can still go about his work in the racing industry.
Strict bans on non-essential activity have seen the racing industry introduce unprecedented measures to keep all in the industry "safe and healthy".
The latest measures include a limit on field numbers, closing the gates to all non-essential attendees and the isolation of 21 top jockeys.
Smith said it was business as usual for his stable.
"Everyone is taking the precautions that need to be taken, and it's a plus racing can keep going ahead," he said. "If we were faced with a total shutdown, the horses would need tending and looking after.
"We can't shut down as such. We have to look after the health of the horses.
"It's something that we would have to look at managing. There would be a few that could go out to the paddocks and rest up if there was no racing."
Smith said his plan, should racing be put on hold, would depend on the length of the shutdown.
"If it's only a month you can tide them over a little bit and keep them ticking over," he said.
"Any longer than that, well they are racehorses, they need to go and race so we would need to manage that.
"We would have the opportunity to bring in a few babies that wouldn't be going to the races and getting them educated and spending time with them."
Smith is assisted by his wife Heidi, two children and one worker, but has had to alter operations to adhere to new guidelines.
"We've stopped the kids going to the race days unless they have an immediate role," he said. "It's made things harder. It's hard on the kids. They can't be as involved as much as they would like to, but they are old enough to understand, and hopefully everyone follows the guidelines and it passes soon, and everything can go back to normal."
Smith said the limited numbers at race meets made it feel like a trial day.
"It's very different," he said. "It's also difficult. We like to get our owners involved, and we like celebrating wins, and it's just not the same without the atmosphere."
Smith said while he understood the restrictions in place for non-essential activity, it was still "gut-wrenching" for the town, with many activities cancelled over Easter.
"This is the time Stawell gets to shine and not only on the race track with the horse, the running track with the Gift, but the town as a whole and everything that gets put on," he said. "It feels like it's just not Easter at the moment. At Stawell, it's busy and hectic leading up to the holiday, but it just doesn't feel like Easter at all."
Smith will have "five or six runners" at Sunday's Stawell Cup, including star nine-year-old Tre Dieci.
Smith will also take three runners to the Warracknabeal Cup on Saturday.
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