Racing NSW has cancelled a live barrier draw for The Everest, citing security risks amid ongoing public outrage at plans to project the results onto the Sydney Opera House.
The decision to conduct the draw in private and hours earlier than expected was made by the thoroughbred racing industry body to “circumvent any security risks”.
As a result, betting for The Everest has been suspended until the results are beamed onto the shells of Sydney Opera House on Tuesday night.
More than 265,000 people have signed a petition protesting the use of the Opera House to promote the racing and gambling event.
Petition organiser and Sydney father Mike Woodcock hopes Premier Gladys Berejiklian will accept the petition he started on Friday, after the coalition overturned a decision by Opera House management to reject the plan.
Public outrage over the decision to promote the $13 million Racing NSW race, dubbed The Everest, mounted over the weekend and into this week with some calling it an “assault” on the World Heritage listed Australian icon.
Mr Woodcock, whose petition on Tuesday morning topped 230,000 signatures, said it would be “awesome” if Ms Berejiklian reversed her decision made in the wake of a vigorous pro-race campaign by Alan Jones.
“On Friday we saw her accept a single phone call from one person that, you know, has a lot of sway in Sydney, apparently,” he told Nine Network.