Racing NSW has suspended all betting on the Everest Cup, the multi-million dollar horse race scheduled for Saturday in Sydney, after the organisation ditched its plan to project the live results of the barrier draw on the sails of the Sydney Opera House this evening.

They’re still going ahead with the heavily criticised projection, mind you. They’ve just held the barrier draw in secret, and have put betting on hold until the predetermined imagery flickers across the city’s architectural icon.

In a statement, Racing NSW said they “made the decision to conduct the draw prior to the event to circumvent any security risks that may exist” at tonight’s projection, and that betting has been put on hold to uphold the perceived fairness and integrity of the wagering process.

The plan to project the results of the barrier draw along with copious branding for the event has drawn intense condemnation. At time of writing, over 270,000 people have signed a petition to keep the building free of promotional material for the gambling event.

That number has obviously been enough to convince Racing NSW something might happen to disrupt the projection as it was initially planned. Overnight, satire crew The Chaser proved it was entirely possible to project contraband messages onto the building, so who knows what’ll go down when that equine imagery prances across the sails tonight.

Racing NSW said it will advise bookies when they can resume taking bets on the race. No word bookies offering odds on how many signatures the petition will rack up before then.

Source: ABC
Image: Racing NSW