SBS draws ire for ‘form guide’ asking which Melbourne Cup horses will die

SBS’ youth-oriented news brand The Feed has drawn ire after posting a “Form Guide” just hours before The Melbourne Cup asking which of the contenders will be euthanised.

horse-tweetThe op-ed by Sydney journalist Alex McKinnon slams the racing industry and sets out the chances of each of the runners of ending the race with life threatening injuries.

The form guide was then promoted by SBS2 on Twitter, provoking an angry response from race fans.

In the piece McKinnon slams the industry and the people who support it.

“It’s a day of great tradition: clocking out of work early, getting biliously drunk in the middle of the day, dressing up in weird outfits that make you look like you’re going to a vaguely racist theme party at a private college,” McKinnon wrote.

“But come race time, one tradition trumps all others: placing a cheeky bet on the outcome.

“In that spirit, we’ve prepared our very own official Melbourne Cup form guide to answer the question on everyone’s lips: which horse will be the one to sustain a severe injury and be forcibly put down by race officials.”

His tips for an early death as a result of the race include:

Bondi Beach – “Much like the iconic piece of Australia it’s named after, this five-year-old bay will be a focal point of belligerent dickheads who express their ‘love’ for something by trashing it for their momentary amusement while displaying zero concern for its long-term welfare.”

Hartnell – “The named favourite of many betting agencies, which are expected to collect upwards of $340 million from this one race alone. Take heart, Hartnell! If you die, at least your years were well spent making money for people like Tom Waterhouse.”

Who Shot TheBarman – “Referencing guns in a horse’s name is a bold move, considering the main way of euthanising an injured racehorse is by shooting it in the head as it lays on the track. Tempting fate there, guys!”


The form guide finishes with links to the website for the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, which revealed this week it was struggling to find places to run outdoor ads after site owners refused to allow them to run.

McKinnon’s piece and the Tweet were met with anger on social media, with many slamming SBS for its decision to run the story.

A spokesperson for SBS said in a statement: “SBS is covering the Spring Racing Carnival from a range of perspectives across TV, radio and online –  this article is a comment piece presenting one view about horse racing.”


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