Punters celebrate cup winnings

SAM BOYER AND MICHAEL FORBES
Last updated 05:00 07/11/2012
Norm Hogan
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ

Norm Hogan, 80, at the Four Kings Bar, shows his winning ticket for the Melbourne Cup.

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Calculated trifectas, fluked flutters and office sweepstakes - Melbourne Cup winners spent the night celebrating after collecting their prizes.

The TAB reported Kiwi spending on the race exceeded $8.6 million, making it the second-biggest cup day in history, with one lucky punter apparently pocketing $102,660 for nailing the trifecta.

Norm Hogan, at the Four Kings bar in Wellington, picked up a smaller pot but said the win was just as sweet. "I got the winner! I put $3 on the win and $2 on the place."

The 80-year-old, who moved to Wellington after the Christchurch earthquake, collected $82.30 for his shrewd $5 bet on Green Moon. "I just liked the horse, that's all."

Mr Hogan said he'd been betting on the Melbourne Cup for about 30 years. He watched the race from his customary seat at the bar in Taranaki St.

"I'll enjoy my beer now," he said. "I've picked the winner."

TAB head of race betting Michael Dore said Kiwi punters also did well out of 20-year-old Hamilton-born jockey James McDonald, who came second on Fiorente.

"There was $85,000 bet on him to place, at $11.80, so over $1 million was paid back. People were rewarded for staying loyal to the one New Zealand resident jockey. James has delivered for them."

Total betting on the cup through the New Zealand TAB, at $8.6m, was up 8.4 per cent, or about $660,000, on last year, and only just short of the $8.7m wagered on the 2010 cup.

Kiwis also did well out of the massive $969,406.60 dividend paid out across the Victorian and New Zealand TABs for picking the first four horses in correct order.

Mr Dore said 22 per cent of that pot went to Kiwi punters, although it was not clear if one person had scooped all 22 per cent or whether it was split among four.

"But when 5 per cent is nearly $50,000, those people will be pretty happy.

"The remarkable stat out of the race was the first seven horses home were all bred in Ireland . . . So it might've been four Irishmen who got 5 per cent of the first four."

Mandy Russell also enjoyed a good afternoon, collecting about $80 for a $7 punt in her office sweepstake at the Sir George Seymour college of travel and tourism.

"There was no second or third, so I got the lot. It was cool."

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- The Dominion Post

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