POLITICS LIVE: Cheltenham Racecourse has “zero tolerance” for racism, owner said, amid calls for its closure and apology from protesters.

    Racecourse owner George Ponteffrem said he was appalled by some of the tweets about racecourse staff members, and that his staff had a duty to respond to such comments.

    “I have zero tolerance for racism.

    Racism is a fact of life, we live in a society and society needs to accept and tolerate this kind of behaviour,” Mr Ponteftre said.

    He said staff members were given a choice about what they said, but he felt it was their duty to protect themselves.

    Mr Pontefa, who runs a racecourse and restaurant in the city, has received death threats.

    On Saturday, protesters gathered outside the racecourse to express their anger over what they see as racism and police violence.

    Organisers had said they would close the race course in the coming days, but have since said they will stay open until their request to do so is granted.

    A spokeswoman for Ponteferm Racecourse said they did not condone racism or any form of intolerance.

    In the aftermath of the clashes, some people have spoken out about racism, including one man who said racecourse employees were racially abusing people and were trying to force the closure of the racefield.

    The racecourse was built in 1883 and was renamed the Cheltenam Racecourse in 1994.

    Last year, Ponteffere announced plans to demolish the raceground after failing to find a buyer.

    His company is the only one to maintain the race ground.

    It was not immediately clear how many people attended the protest outside Pontefeem.

    Protests have also taken place at other racecourse sites across Australia, including Melbourne, Canberra and Darwin.

    Protesters say the racefares are a ‘shame’ to Cheltenberg racecourse in Sydney’s west, which has been renamed as Pontefinm Race Course and has been a destination for many locals in recent years.

    Topics:racism,religion-and-beliefs,government-and‑politics,coronavirus,sunday-heritage,australiaMore stories from New South Wales