Melbourne Cup drama as activist sprays ‘oily sludge’ on track before race start
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An activist was filmed unloading 1000 litres of 'oily sludge' on the track ahead of the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.
Gold Trip emerged victorious in Australia's biggest race as jockey Mark Zahra claimed the success at Flemington race course.
However, the prestigious race was very nearly thrown into chaos by the vandalism, which took place at around 6am and was posted online by global activism group Extinction Rebellion.
The individual can be seen on the course spraying a substance after breaching security, with over 1000 litres believed to have been unloaded.
Fortunately for jockeys and racegoers, stewards deemed the track safe after completing some remedial work and races went ahead as planned.
READ MORE: Racing trainer walks horse into a bar and gets offered a pint of Guinness
Extinction Rebellion has led a series of high-profile protests across the world, most notably in the UK in recent months.
The group's Victorian branch posted: "We fully endorse the message of this person.
“The privileged in our society are on notice that as crises deepen and we do not see justice for communities, individuals and animals, ordinary people will be [driven] more and more to undertake these sorts of desperate actions.”
The alleged activist released a statement via the group online, claiming to have gambling problems and criticising organisers. They wrote: "The racing industry callously disregards the wellbeing of Animals and the community, both local in the floods, and those who have fallen victim to gambling."
Police confirmed an investigation was underway after the individual had broken onto the course in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
On the track, tens of thousands of fans watched on as Gold Trip claimed victory for trainers David Eustace and Ciaron Maher.
Jocket Zahra admitted his delight afterwards: "Mum used to give me the day off as a kid to watch this race so it's absolutely surreal to win it."
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- Extinction Rebellion
- Horse racing
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