Opera House advertising: The Everest horse racing controversy, betting suspended

The controversy overshadowing Saturday's lucrative The Everest race meeting took another twist with betting on the feature race suspended until the barrier draw was released to the public due to risks of a security breach.

The forecourt and surrounding areas of the Opera House were packed with onlookers and people looking to make a stand against the use of the building to promote race colours, barrier draw numbers and The Everest Trophy for the lucrative event.

The original plan was to conduct the barrier draw live and simultaneously project it onto the facade of the Sydney Opera House tonight, but the racing body has brought the draw forward, with the results to be "held in confidence" until the six-minute projection.

More than 1,000 protesters have disrupted the Everest horse race illumination by painting over the light show with torches and lamps.

Nevertheless, despite the torchlight, the results of the barrier draw were clearly visible, with short-priced runner and previous champion Redzel securing the prized inside barrier, closest to the rail, and bookmakers having resumed taking bets.

In a letter to the premier on Tuesday, the NSW Heritage Council said it was extremely disappointed with the government's decision and described the projection as "inappropriate".

"The specific exemption for the Opera House says you can't do it if it's commercial", Mr Quint said. "Call Alan" onto the famous building.

Alan Jones has this morning apologised on his 2GB Breakfast show for comments he made in an interview with Opera House CEO Louise Herron last week. Prime Minister Scott Morrison backed the decision, saying: "Why not put it on the biggest billboard Sydney has?"

'I don't know why people are getting so precious about it.

Satirical group The Chaser posted a video of the prank on Tuesday morning where they can also be seen shining the message, which was accompanied by Alan Jones' purported mobile number, onto NSW Parliament House and the NSW Art Gallery.

Vanessa Coleman

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