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An Australian race meeting had to be called off yesterday (Wednesday 26 January) due to an invasion of kangaroos.

The Hanging Rock Cup meeting was abandoned at around 2pm by Racing Victoria Limited stewards.

The first race was held up when jockeys noticed kangaroos close to the track along the back straight. Then three more jumped onto the track. Attempts were made to shoo them off but within minutes two more jumped on — with one even hopping along the home straight.

“This is the first meeting I’ve ever seen that’s been called off because of kangaroos,” trainer Brett Mallyon told local press, adding he was unlikely to return to the track.

“There’s a cyclone fence around the place, so the kangaroos were corralled in there. They’d chase the kangaroos up one way and then they’d just bounce back the other way. It was like watching a comedy.

“It’s disappointing not to have the horse run and it’s also costly. I’ve been to Hanging Rock before and I remember last year there was a problem with kangaroos getting on the track.

Steward Peter Ryan said after three lots of kangaroos appeared he had to call it off due to safety concerns.

“We tried as hard as we could to clear them off but they kept returning, and unfortunately we had no alternative but to call a halt to the meeting.”