Australian racing officials were reviewing safety procedures yesterday after five jockeys were hurt when a flock of seagulls flew into the path of their horses in a bizarre mid-race mishap.

A field of 11 horses was racing towards the finishing post in the final race at Sandown race track in Melbourne this week when a large flock of the birds suddenly rose up off the track and flew into the approaching horses.

Some of the horses reared up and others balked, throwing their jockeys.

Darren Gauci complained of a sore neck and was taken to hospital for scans after falling from his mount Diamond Hailey in the mid-track mayhem.

Jockey Peter Mertens said the birds hit so hard that his mount went sideways.

Only five horses finished the race.

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