Cup punters, bookies celebrate at Randwick

Racing Fans arrive early to Royal Randwick racecourse.
More than 20,000 people celebrated Melbourne Cup day at Randwick in Sydney.

The champagne flowed at Randwick on Melbourne Cup day despite the race being a win for the bookmakers.

A colourful crowd of 20,462 flocked to the Sydney track on Tuesday filling stands, lounges and corporate boxes before silence fell over the racecourse to watch Rekindling ($15) pass the post first at Flemington.

Betting was widespread on the 23-horse Cup but many threw their weight behind Marmelo and Almandin ($7).

Randwick punter Mayo Materazzo knew better than to back either horse, finishing a respective ninth and 12th.

“I got the first four of them and all I did, I just won a little extra money. So what I put out, I get back,” she told AAP.

“Being a Melbournite, the Cup is just something you can’t walk away from.

“It’s one thing to just watch it on the screen, it’s another to share it with everyone around you.

“I think we should have a holiday in Sydney for the Melbourne Cup. It’s a special day, you only do it once a year.”

On-course bookmaker Scott Savala said Marmelo and Humidor ($11), who was runner-up to Winx in the Cox Plate, were hugely popular with betting Sydneysiders along with “well-named” runners such as Bondi Beach.

“There was a lot of money for the two favourites but they didn’t step-up and punters lost their money heavily,” he told AAP.

“Any horse that runs behind Winx, she just breaks their spirit so they don’t normally back-up after that start.

“Number 22 is not a popular number. The social punters usually look at the top of the screen at the odds and don’t look down the bottom of the form, and 22 (Rekindling) won. It was a good result for the bookies, that one.”

But for some racegoers, such as Evanthea Newton, a little bit of intuition went a long way.

“It’s my wedding anniversary today so I chose number seven,” she said of Melbourne Cup runner-up and No.7 Johannes Vermeer.

“My sister Maria is down from Brisbane so we’re going to grab a glass of bubbly and keep making a day of it.”

Apprentice jockey Andrew Adkins also had a Cup day worth celebrating, with three wins from nine races at Randwick.

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