Police have arrested a man after a spectator ran onto the race track at Upper Hutt’s Trentham Racecourse during the Wellington Cup Day yesterday.
The man has been charged with criminal nuisance.
Footage circulating on social media shows the man jumping the fence and entering the track, forcing jockeys to steer their horses around him.
Jockeys were left trying to avoid the male offender as he stood in the middle of the track as the field fanned out directly in front of the main grandstand.
Remarkably, nobody was injured in the incident that saw jockeys dodging the foolish track intruder at full speed 150m from the end of race eight.
Racing broadcaster Aidan Rodley described the spectator as “an idiot”, who is “lucky to be alive”.
“He was lucky he didn’t get run over,” said champion jockey Danielle Johnson.
“Most of us didn’t see him until late.”
The 24-year-old man has been released on bail and is due to appear in the Hutt Valley District Court on Thursday.