Power outage at Eagle Farm Racetrack puts punters in dark mood

images-20More than 14,000 people attended the racecourse to watch the Cup on the biggest screen in the southern hemisphere.

But when the on-course electricity transponder malfunctioned, the screen stayed blank.

Brisbane Racing Club general manager Scott Steele said the on-course generator engaged, but it could not produce enough power.

“Our generator puts out 400kVa and we needed 1400 to get the whole track up and running,” he said.

“Unfortunately we just had to wait until Energex come to fix the transponder.”

Mr Steele said he was gutted by the power outage.

“It certainly has put a dampening on what looked like being a fantastic day,” he said.

“For something like this [to happen] that is out of our control it is still a fair kick in the guts, that is for sure.

“We even had a couple of speakers hooked up to some car batteries to try and let the customers at least hear it.”

Mr Steele said bookies were forced to take bets the old fashioned way, with a pen and paper.

“It was certainly a unique Melbourne Cup,” he said.

Energex spokesman Danny Donald said the blackout was sparked by a large amount of power being drawn in a short time.

“It tripped the safety fuses that feed into the track,” he said.

“The fuses did exactly what they’re made to do.

“What we need to know now, exactly what energy intensive equipment the track did bring in on the day.”

Mr Donald said it was a disappointing day for the punters but the power was back on within 40 minutes.

Mr Steele said the Brisbane Racing Club would examine how to compensate the punters.

“We’ll make that call tomorrow, this is obviously just character-building stuff,” he said.

“At the moment everyone’s still having a cold beer, it hasn’t dampened too many people.

“Obviously we lost some of the … punters but we’ve still got plenty of people on course still having a good time.”