Everest draw turfed amid security concerns

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MORE than 3000 people descended on the Sydney Opera House overnight to protest the Racing NSW projections on the iconic building.

"We are known for the Sydney Opera House; to use it to advertise a horse race is just taking advantage of it", said Aideen Keane, 16, brandishing a torch as she sat on the Opera House steps, with her mother, Lesa Hogan.

The broadcaster yesterday morning apologised for his on-air treatment of the Opera House CEO Louise Herron, an interview that drew accusations of bullying.

Racing authorities projected 20 minutes of images of the draw for the starting positions for Saturday's The Everest horse race at Sydney's Royal Randwick Racecourse.

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Racing NSW chief executive Peter V'landys took the decision to conduct the draw on Tuesday morning prior to the barrier draw function to circumvent any security risks as the fallout from use of the Opera House to promote the race continues.

"I don't believe my words or actions qualify as those of a bully or a misogynist but there are clearly many people who do", Jones said on 2GB.

"It will be kept secure until it is released to the public on the Opera House tonight".

Since the NSW Government directed the Opera House to allow the promotional material on racing to be projected, the backlash over the decision has reached a boiling point.

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They then shone bright lights onto the barrier draw results and from across the other side of Circular Quay, the numbers of the race horses displayed on the heritage building were obscured.

Some 240,000 people have now signed a Change.org petition calling for the promotion to be stopped.

At the same time in Melbourne, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews's Facebook account trolled the advertisement, and Sydney itself, with one smug post that said: "Look, I don't think advertising belongs on the Opera House either".

The NSW Heritage Council, an adviser to the government on heritage issues, said it was disappointed with the government's decision to turn the "international architectural masterpiece" into a billboard.

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