The New Zealand tote for this year’s Melbourne Cup was $8.62 million or $660,000 (8.4%) ahead of last year, TAB bookie John Mitchell says – although it is unknown is how much was spent in office pools nationwide.
Mr Mitchell told NBR ONLINE the increase was partly down to the fact that last year’s race came on the heels of the Rugby World Cup, which sucked $30 million from the betting community.
But he also saw it as a reflection of the economy perking up, and punters returning in Christchurch where the tote was up 14%.
With rank outsider Green Moon placing first, the TAB was the main winner on the day. But some punters came into major money.
It also helped that there was a "good New Zealand side story", with 20-year-old Hamilton-born jockey James McDonald riding Fiorente, who placed second.
Courtenay Place couple clean up
Not all tickets were in, so Mr Mitchell was not sure who was the biggest winner.
But he said one contender would be a couple who bet at the Courtenay Place TAB in Wellington.
They were going to pick a top two horses each but in the end took a $5, or 5%, punt on the top four (which paid $969,000), meaning they collected close to $50,000.
For his part, Mr Mitchell says he correctly picked the quinella, but never found time to make it out of the office to make a bet.
OFFICIAL TAB RESULTS
1st: 14 Green Moon (Win: $22.50, Place: $7.40)
2nd: 11 Fiorente (Place $11.80)
3rd: 3 Jakkalberry (Place $16.00)
4th: 24 Kellini
5th: 8 Mount Athos
Quinella: 11, 14 $506.90
Trifecta: 14:11:3 $41,064
First4: 14:11:3:24 $969,406.40