Hanging Rock race “skipped” because of the kangaroos

Hanging Rock race “skipped” because of the kangaroos

Jake Duffy was thinking about riding his fourth winner for the day at Hanging Rock on Saturday when a “big-arsed” kangaroo came into view.

Stewards at Hanging Rock ultimately abandoned the final of six races at the annual New Year’s Day meeting because of ‘’the intrusions of kangaroos on the track’’ during the 2400-metre benchmark 58 race where Duffy was aboard the leader Éclair Rhythm.

Two of the five horses to contest the race finished but Duffy and two others pulled up their mounts after seeing the kangaroo on the track.

“We were Just coming into the straight the second time because it was a 2400-metre race and the barrier boys were yelling out to us and I heard one say ‘kangaroo’,” Duffy explained on Saturday night.

“I looked up and there was just this big-arsed kangaroo standing there on the track and I didn’t really know what to do because there are no real kangaroo protocols.

“So. I just started pulling up and it sort of jumped off the track but I didn’t know if there were any more so I pulled mine up as did a couple of others (riders) as I saw another little one coming to me.”

Stewards then called the five riders in and after taking evidence decided to abandon the race.

Duffy said he’d seen plenty of kangaroos at Hanging Rock before.

“It was typical Hanging Rock,” Duffy said. “I have been there before and they’ve been chased off before we get going, but not this time.

“It’s not so scary but it’s a real unknown, It’s hard enough to tell what they are going to do when you are driving a car let alone on a horse.”

Duffy had ridden three of the first five winners and he was happy with the way Éclair Rhythm was travelling when he spotted the kangaroo.

“I thought it was going to win but it was hard to tell because we were at the 1000 metres,” he said.

Duffy earlier scored aboard Hurry Scurry ($3.80f) in the 1000-metre maiden, Amaze’em ($3) in the 1800-metre maiden and Purrfect Scent ($3) in the benchmark 58 (1600m).