Melbourne Cup track sabotage chaos: 1000 litres of ‘oily sludge’ dumped onto Flemington after self-confessed problem gambler breaks into the track
- A ‘problem gambler’ broke into Melbourne Cup track at about 6am on Tuesday
- The person filmed themselves and said it was to protest the Victoria Racing Club
- Video shows more than one person spraying a dark liquid around the 1500 mark
- Two races had already ran before news of the unknown-liquid protest emerged
A self-admitted ‘problem gambler’ has broken into the Flemington racecourse hours before the Melbourne Cup to pour an oily substance on the track.
Alarming footage showed at least two people running onto the track in Flemington at about 6am on Tuesday to spray a dark liquid over the course in apparent protest against the Victoria Racing Club.
The substance has not officially been identified but was labelled ‘oily’. One person has surrendered themselves to police.
The VRC confirmed officials cleaned a section of the track around the 1500 mark on Tuesday morning and said it was safe for the race to continue.
A statement issued by the protester cited as motivation the building of a wall which was designed to keep potential floodwaters from the neighbouring Maribyrnong River from getting into the racecourse and damaging the turf.
Some local residents had been angered by the construction of the wall, saying it diverted water toward their homes and increased the likelihood of future floodwaters inundating their streets.
‘That wall should never have been built. What is a racecourse to them is a crucial natural floodplain that would have lowered flood levels in homes if not for the interest of the racing and gambling industry,’ the statement said.
‘This is about Victoria Racing Club and the toxic industry of which they are leaders choosing to proted their racecourse against the impacts of climate change at the expense of people’s homes and livelihoods.’
Climate action protest group Extinction Rebellion in Victoria said on Tuesday 1,000 litres of ‘sludge’ had been dumped onto Flemington by ‘friends’ of the group.
‘We fully endorse the message of this person,’ the group said, drawing a broad connection between horse racing and climate change.
‘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 drive more and more to undertake these sorts of desperate actions.’
The person who broke onto the track released their own statement via Extinction Rebellion which claimed they were ‘a problem gambler’.
The ‘problem gambler’ protester (above), with the aid of at least one other person, filmed as they sprayed a dark-coloured unknown liquid near the 1500 marker of the Flemington track
Two races had already run by the when news of the protest emerged.
The Simon Zahra-trained colt Krakarib, ridden by Damien Thornton, won the first race of the day, taking the Group 3 Darley Maribyrnong Plate.
Thornton later said he was proud of the result but was excited to improve.
‘He (Krakarib) did a little bit wrong. He’s got a few attitude issues but if you can iron them out, he’ll be alright. It laid out well, he jumped OK. Wasn’t worried, just wanted to get him into the rhythm, and relax and cruise down,’ he said after the race.
White Marlin trained by legendary horse figure Gai Waterhouse took out the second race by more than five lengths.
Ridden by Tim Clark, the horse had eye of many punters taking $2.30 bets.
‘He (White Marlin) is the real deal and I hope we will see him here this time next year. My husband (Robbie Waterhouse) spotted him. He came to Australia, and quite a few people wanted a white or grey horse but he has just grown so much. A perfect way to start Cup day,’ said Waterhouse after the race.
Early this morning I pumped 1,000 litres of oily sludge onto Flemington Racecourse. I am a problem gambler and so I have my personal issues with the racing industry. But this is about more than that.
This is about Victoria Racing Club and the toxic industry of which they are leaders choosing to protect their racecourse against the impacts of climate change at the expense of people’s home and livelihoods.
That wall should never have been built, what is a racecourse to them is a crucial natural floodplain that would have lowered flood levels in homes if not for the interest of the racing and gambling industry.
Even if they can clean the sludge from the racetrack today, I hope they pay proper dues to the local flood victims who will be cleaning their homes for months to come…
Gambling is a huge problem in Australia… The racing industry callously disregards the wellbeing of animals and the community, both local and in the floods, and those who have fallen victim to gambling.
If this year’s Melbourne Cup is postponed it will be a well-deserved setback for an industry that needs to be held accountable.