Melbourne Cup connection pays off

Jockey cousin delivers the goods

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 06:29 07/11/2012
Melbourne Cup winners
MURRAY WILSON/Fairfax NZ
06112012 news Murray Wilson/ FAIRFAX NZ. Melbourne Cup race day at the "Beer Barrel" In the money: Nathan Wright, left and Patrick Buhler at the Fitzherbert Ave TAB after picking up their winnings.

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Green Moon has left one Palmerston North punter over the moon with his win from the Melbourne Cup.

Patrik Buhler, 20, was delighted his horse of choice galloped home first, even more so as his cousin, Brett Prebble, was the jockey.

‘‘I’m pretty excited for my win but I’m more excited for my cousin.’’

It was Prebble’s 10th Melbourne Cup start but his first victory.

In Melbourne, Mr Buhler’s three siblings were cheering on their cousin.

However, he had to settle for watching the race on the TV at his friend’s flat in McGiffert St.

When he found out Green Moon, who started at $22.50 for a win, had pipped the pack, he raced down to the TAB to claim his winnings and pocketed $145.

As an ‘‘amateur gambler’’, Mr Buhler said he had faith in his cousin’s racing abilities and placed a $5 each-way bet on Green Moon.

As he had finished his final exams on Monday, Mr Buhler said the money would be well-spent on ‘‘liquid refreshments’’. 

For the TAB on Fitzherbert Ave in Palmerston North, it was one of the biggest Melbourne Cup days staff members had seen.

Employee Tracy Oliver, who has witnessed seven years of ‘‘the race that stops two nations’’,  said the money spent on betting yesterday was right up there.

The day was busy, with more than 5000 bets placed at the Fitzherbert Ave branch.

The average punt was between $5 and $10, so it was likely more than $50,000 passed through the tills yesterday, she said.

However, Melbourne Cup celebrations were tinged with a sombre tone as the branch on Fitzherbert Ave was closing down.

Mrs Oliver said it was upsetting to think it was the last time she would see the Melbourne Cup from behind the tills at Fitzherbert Ave.

‘‘It’s really an end of an era,’’ she said yesterday.

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- Manawatu Standard

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