A Caviar blackout

THERE'S every chance champion sprinter Black Caviar will make Australian racing history at Royal Ascot on Saturday night, but around 10,000 Clarence Valley homes will be in the dark when she races.

Power supplier Essential Energy will cut power to homes on the Lower Clarence between 10pm Saturday and 6am Sunday to install a 66,000 volt ring feeder, a piece of infrastructure the com- pany said would greatly increase security of electricity supply to the region.

But that will be small comfort to legions of racing fans who planned to tune into the special TV coverage of the meeting from Royal Ascot in England in the early hours of Sunday morning.

One woman who contacted The Daily Examiner said she was not even a race fan, but thought Black Caviar was such a champion she wanted to watch her race in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

"They're saying she's the best in the past 80 years, since Phar Lap," she said.

"I don't even bet on the horses. I just love to see a champion."

Rather than miss out on the special occasion she has arranged to watch the meeting with a friend in South Grafton.

An Essential Energy spokesperson said the installation had been planned for months "well before Black Caviar got in her suit to go overseas".

He said the areas affected would be Brushgrove, Lawrence, Tyndale, Maclean, Yamba, Iluka, Tullymorgan, Palmers Island and Woodford Island.



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