The Wagga Gold Cup is going ahead in 2020 but without a crowd in attendance.
With government restrictions over non-essential gatherings announced last week, Murrumbidgee Turf Club confirmed on Thursday they are planning to race behind closed doors on May 1.
More than 10,000 people are usually expected to attend the two-day carnival.
It will be huge economic blow to the club and another on business across the city, but as the impact of the coronavirus crisis deepens MTC chief executive Steven Keene is looking to do the best it can for the racing industry and public safety.
"It is disappointing for the club but there is a bigger picture here," Keene said. "We will take what necessary steps are needed in line with the government and Racing NSW recommendations."
At this stage both Wagga Town Plate day on April 30 and Wagga Gold Cup program will go ahead.
Albury's Gold Cup carnival started on Thursday without the public as will racing across the state for an indefinite period.
Racing NSW have introduced restrictions to the public, including owners, for all meetings with only those deemed essential able to attend.
With those in place, it is hoped the industry will be able to continue and provide stakeholders with the opportunity to earn an income.
"Unless anything changes we will be running without a crowd but there is a lot of water to go under the bridge," Keene said.
"We will play it as it comes.
"Hopefully the horses can still run and there is prizemoney for trainers, owners, it keeps stablehands employed and avoids the racing industry coming to a standstill."
Keene also hopes that by making an early decision it can help limit the impact not only to the club but the wider community.
"It brings a great injection into the town of Wagga itself so I think we will find not only the club but other businesses will suffer some hardship and feel the effects but all we can do is band together," he said.
"Once we are through this we can look at ways everyone can get the economy in Wagga back up and running."
Wagga's next meeting is on March 28 after the club stepped in to take a picnics meeting following the loss of meetings at Ardlethan, Tullibgieal and Cootamundra in the coming weeks.
It will be run on the Riverside track.
"The race meeting is purely for those horses as with the smaller clubs cancelling their race days the horses still need somewhere to run," Keene said.
"We will do that without a crowd."
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