It’s the last profit hit that executives at Australia’s two major wagering companies, Tabcorp and UNiTAB, would have seen coming. In the last few years, thoroughbred racing meetings have abandoned for all sorts of reasons -- rain, weather, drought, a bitter broadcasting dispute and, most famously and most damaging, the equine influenza outbreak of 2007.

But race meetings abandoned across the country after wildcat jockey strike, and all over a piece of padded leather on a stick? You’d want odds of 1000 to 1.