“That no horses died this year is a pretty low threshold to measure animal cruelty in the racing industry,” Ratnam said.
“It seems they want to distract from the fact that the racing industry continues to profit from animal cruelty and gambling harm.
“The reality is more and more people are turning away from horse racing because they know it’s had its day.”
But Jones disagreed, pointing to record wagering over Cup week, and while Flemington crowds didn’t meet lofty expectations, cold weather was a reasonable excuse for 244,000 people attending the four-day carnival.
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