Police are hunting for a man who attempted to sabotage Australia’s most famous horse race by pouring 1000 litres of sludge across the Flemington Racecourse on the morning of the Melbourne Cup.
Racing officials made hurried repairs to the track after discovering damage on the course.
A man who described himself as a “problem gambler” said, through activist group Extinction Rebellion, that he vandalised the course to protest against the “toxic” racing industry.
“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 homes and livelihoods,” the man said.
Climate activist group Extinction Rebellion shared video of the man using a hose to pump “oily sludge” across the track around 6am on Tuesday.
The group said they “fully endorse” the message of the unknown man whom they described as “a friend”.
Racing Victoria deemed the track safe after minor repairs and said the incident did not upset the racing carnival. It had no impact on the running of the $8m Melbourne Cup race.
Police said Melbourne Crime Investigation Unit detectives were investigating how unknown offenders broke into Flemington and poured a substance over a portion of the track.