Tue, Nov 1, 4:00pm by Senior Writer
Punters have pulled off a considerable Melbourne Cup heist, with well-backed Almandin winning the $6.2 million handicap, giving owner Lloyd Williams his fifth victory in the race.
Almandin was $101 when nominations were taken on August 30, and was still $17 when the final field was determined on Saturday. But continued money for the German-bred horse saw him come into as short as $10, before he eventually jumped at $11.
Sportsbet reported that it paid out more than $13 million in winning bets, with two punters backing him at $301 when markets initially opened. One punter had $100 at $301 and the other $20.
The biggest bets on Almandin on raceday were $5465.70 at $11 for a return of $60,122.70 and $5,000 at $11 for a return of $55,000. Crownbet also reported it was their worst result
Kerrin McEvoy gave his mount a perfect tide, tracking second-placed Heartbreak City ($19) before they settled down to fight it out when they launched their challenge down the Flemington straight.
It was an epic battle over the final 300m, with Almandin getting the upper hand in the final 50m, much to the joy of those who backed him.
The well-supported $5.50 favourite Hartnell tracked well into the race but was no match for the first two horses, finishing several lengths adrift in third, just ahead of fellow Godolphin runner Qewy ($21).
Almandin paid $12.30 for the win on Super-TAB, while Heartbreak City paid $6.20 a place and Hartnell $3.20 a place.
While it is Williams’ fifth success as an owner in a run stretching back to 1981, it is trainer Robert Hickmott’s second win after Green Moon won in 2012.
It is also McEvoy’s second win, having won the race at his first ride in 2000 on Brew.
McEvoy is married to the sister of the jockey of last year’s Melbourne Cup winner, Michelle Payne.
Possibly the most excited punter in Australia is the Sportsbet account holder who took a box first four for $10 and collected over $240,000.
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