Cambridge trainer Tony Pike is adamant that training tracks need to remain open throughout the Covid-19 alert level 4 lockdown on animal welfare grounds. The respected horseman, who is also the president of the New Zealand Trainers' Association, usually has around 80 horses in work and is keen to see tracks remain open to keep horses ticking over, albeit on a reduced scale. "I have been working really closely with New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing and also have a couple of vets on board as well, just from an animal welfare point of view," Pike said. "We are waiting for clarification as to whether we can carry on training, which will hopefully come through tonight (Tuesday)." Like many stables, Pike has already implemented strict staff protocols to minimise human interaction. "We have got pretty strict protocols in place," he said. "We have split our staff into teams of two and they're working three days on and three days off. "We still need people in the stable as horses have got to stay ticking over. "There are distancing requirements, with riders down one end and ground staff the other. "We hope to keep the training tracks open on some sort of scale to get some exercise into the horses. "From a health and animal welfare point of view it is pretty hard having a fit racehorse standing in the box 24 hours a day, without any form of significant exercise."