INDEPENDENT NEWS

Fairytale finish as $6.5 million bet on Cup

Published: Tue 6 Nov 2001 06:48 PM
For immediate release
Date: Tuesday 6 November – Melbourne Cup Day
Fairytale finish as $6.5 million bet on Melbourne Cup
New Zealanders bet a total of $6.5 million on the Melbourne Cup, the third highest total ever, as sensational Kiwi mare Ethereal raced into Cup history.
The win makes Cambridge trainer Sheila Laxon the first woman to train a Melbourne Cup winner.
Ethereal, the second favourite heading into the race, is the third mare to win the Melbourne Cup-Caulfield Cup double.
“Not only was it a sensational win for Sheila but a lot of Kiwis will be happy as well. We paid out $4.5 million on Ethereal, and one fixed odds bettor won $100,000,” TAB spokesman Joe Locke said.
New Zealanders placed 1.1 million bets on the race and in the peak betting period, 20 minutes prior to the race, the TAB computer was processing 100 bets a second.
The highest ever Melbourne Cup total was the $6.8 million bet on the Cup in 1998, when Kiwi horses Jeezabeel and Champagne were favourites.
“Given the wet track and the two scratchings of leading contenders, we are very happy with this year’s result,” Locke said.
“It’s also a great result for New Zealand breeding industry and Cambridge Stud in particular, where four out of the last five Cup winners were bred.”
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