Punters empty pockets on Cup
Punters across the country splurged on Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup with a record $95.6 million outlayed on the Victorian and NSW TABs.
Gary Davies from TAB Sportsbet said Victorian punters wagered $39.6 million on Australia’s favourite race, up from $37.1 million last year, with their NSW counterparts kicking in $56 million, compared with $51.2 million in 2008.
Queenslanders also bet a record $29 million on the Melbourne Cup on UniTab, although crowds were down at the premier race meeting at Eagle Farm.
Davies said the two biggest bets on the winner, the Mark Kavanagh-trained Shocking, were at fixed odds of $12 with one gambler risking $40,000 to win $440,000 and another betting $27,000 to walk away with $297,000.
"This is a good result for us – if Viewed or Alcopop had won, then we would have taken not nearly as much as we did with Shocking," Davies said.
South Australian galloper Alcopop started the $5.50 favourite at jump time after the Bart Cummings-trained Viewed drifted having being as short at $4.60 on Tuesday morning.
Both finished unplaced with international raiders Crime Scene and Mourilyan running second and third respectively.
The failures by the top picks saved bookmakers from a huge payout despite the fact Shocking was one of the best backed runners.
"Shocking ended up being a good result for me but him and Alcopop were probably the best backed runners," said bookmaker Tom Waterhouse who fielded at Flemington.
"There was a fortune for Alcopop."
Waterhouse’s father, leading Sydney bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse, said Shocking was also heavily backed in the betting ring at Randwick.
"It was a huge betting race and Shocking was the best backed runner in the race," Robbie Waterhouse said.
"They gave as much as $12 yesterday and they just kept backing him today.
"Mourilyan was particularly well backed and Crime Scene had some support as well."
UniTab’s Queensland’s divisional general manager Brad Tamer said their eight per cent increase on 2008 betting figures could be attributed to the interest in Bart Cummings attempting to win his 13th Melbourne Cup.
"It was a record Melbourne Cup for UniTab and no doubt it was because of Bart Cummings and the fairytale story around Alcopop," Tamer said.
Viewed fared best of Cummings’ three runners finishing seventh.
One Sportingbet Australia customer had plenty of reason to smile after winning more than $37,000 from a $24 outlay.
The punter boxed the three placegetters in a trifecta and took it four times.