BOUNDING CLEAR: A kangaroo hops down the home straight
in front of a big crowd at yesterday’s Hanging Rock Cup meeting.
Racing Victoria Limited stewards were forced to abandon yesterday’s Hanging Rock Cup meeting because of a kangaroo invasion. The traditional Australia Day meeting had attracted thousands of racegoers, but kangaroos invading the track made it impossible for RVL stewards to let the races go ahead.
The horses were in the barrier for the first event when jockeys noticed kangaroos close to the track along the back straight. The horses were backed out of the barriers and moves were made to shoo the kangaroos away. Despite the efforts of Kyneton and Hanging Rock Racing Club and RVL staff the kangaroos returned to the vicinity of the track. One kangaroo even managed to hop down the home straight.
About 2pm chief steward Peter Ryan had no choice but to abandon the meeting because there were no guarantees that the kangaroos wouldn’t jump on to the track while a race was being run.
Mallyon, who saddled up Persona Grata in the opening event, said “This is the first meeting I’ve ever seen that’s been called off because of kangaroos. There’s a cyclone fence around the place, so the kangaroos were corralled in there. They’d chase the kangaroos up one way and then they’d just bounce back the other way. It was like watching a comedy.
Kyneton and Hanging Rock Racing Club chief executive Mark Graham said the Roos usually stay behind the 1700-metre fence around the track after being encouraged out by staff on race day morning.
Graham said a crowd of more than 5000 people attended the races. “Country race meetings, kangaroos, barbecues – that’s what Australians are all about, isn’t it?”