US Navy Flag drawn in three as Everest gets embroiled in Opera House row
US Navy Flag landed stall three for The TAB Everest, the richest turf race in the world, after the draw was conducted earlier than proposed, in private, ahead of the controversial projection of the outcome on Sydney's famous Opera House.
The draw for the race at Randwick on Saturday was conducted in the early morning in Australia to avoid any security risks, with last year's winner Redzel drawn in one.
Opera House chief executive Louise Herron had previously said "it's not a billboard", and 265,000 signatures signed a petition to stop the projection going ahead due to fears about advertising betting and commercialisation of the landmark.
Protesters gathered at the world-famous site, shining lights and torches at the Opera House. The Unesco World Heritage site has unexpectedly become the focal point of the build-up to the Randwick showpiece, which falls during New South Wales's Responsible Gambling Awareness Week
Betting had been earlier suspended on the race after a Racing NSW statement read: "Racing NSW has made the decision to conduct the draw prior to the event to circumvent any security risks. Racing NSW Stewards shall advise all wagering operators this evening when they may recommence betting on the event."
Protest at Opera House pic.twitter.com/0sVWk7Pgyp— Joe O'Brien (@JoeABCNews) October 9, 2018
Aidan O'Brien hailed US Navy Flag as unbelievable following his dominant July Cup win, which came after three runs over a mile. Last year's Dewhurst winner, an 8-1 shot for The Everest, will be partnered by Ryan Moore at Randwick.
Santa Ana Lane 9
Le Romain 11
Trapeze Artist 6
Vega Magic 7
Brave Smash 4
Osborne Bulls 5
US Navy Flag 3
In Her Time 8
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com