A stag party went off-track when it went on track at the Otaki races yesterday after a man in a dress jumped a fence and raced the horses to the finish line.
Racegoers were stunned when a blonde-wigged, undie-less man in a black skirt joined the last 50 metres of the DominionPost Handicap, falling over the line and being grabbed by racecourse security staff as disbelieving jockeys pulled their mounts up.
Racecourse inspector Bob Bevege said the Wellington man was dared into running alongside the fence, but instead, leapt on to the track.
"He was inebriated to say the least, but he was a lucky boy. The horses were running wide because of a heavy track, and if one had shied it could have been nasty."
Stipendiary steward Neil Goodwin watched video replays and said the man was never in any danger, but the horse closest to him was the six- year-old stallion Temple View, the biggest in the race.
Jockey Thomas Russell said he spotted the runner 100 metres out. "I kept an eye on him in the run home but I didn't have to change ground. If he'd changed direction it might have been different. I yelled that he was a bloody idiot as I went past, but by then he was lying on his face on the ground."
The man was escorted from the course, and a trespass notice is to be issued.
The man's mates accepted joint responsibility for the prank - in keeping with the name of the horse that beat him to the line, Share The Blame.
- The Dominion Post