Protesters, Everest light up Opera House

Florence Fletcher
October 10, 2018

A time gap of several hours with potential for barrier draw information to be leaked caused Racing NSW to take the cautious step of suspending betting until after the polarising public event.

Hundreds of protesters shine torches on Sydney Opera House in opposition to controversial advertising for a horse race.

Nevertheless, despite the torchlight, the results of the barrier draw were clearly visible, with short-priced runner and previous champion Redzel securing the prized inside barrier, closest to the rail, and bookmakers having resumed taking bets.

The government sparked outrage by overturning the decision of Opera House management, which had rejected the promotion of the race on the grounds that it breached its guidelines.

"Racing NSW Stewards today have conducted the barrier draw for the 2018 The TAB Everest in preparation for this evening's barrier draw event", a Racing NSW release said. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian later overruled Herron and gave Racing NSW most of what was being asked.

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This afternoon the Heritage Council of New South Wales delivered a damning letter directly to the Premier expressing its "extreme disappointment" with her decision to allow the advertising to go ahead.

The crowd also chanted against radio shock jock Alan Jones, following his interview of Opera House CEO Louise Herron on Friday in which called for her to be sacked for opposing Racing NSW's plans. Jones' response to Herron arguing the Opera House is "not a billboard" was: "Who said?"

In another letter sent to Greens MP David Shoebridge, Mr Davies said he was unable to issue a Stop Work Order because the planned projections by Racing NSW did not meet the legal definition of "harm" as there was no physical damage being done to the site.

"This is one of the biggest events of the year... why not put it on the biggest billboard Sydney has?" said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

'I don't know why people are getting so precious about it.

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