Luckiest Cup punter's $1m 'crazy ride'

The Melbourne tradesman whose $1 million dollar win at the Melbourne Cup captured Australia's attention has described his rags to riches story as a "crazy ride."

 

In one of the fairytale stories of a thrilling Melbourne Cup day, Mill Park local Dom Clemente turned a modest $10 bet into a $1 million dollar windfall when Rekindling stormed home to win the nation's greatest race.

"Everybody started ringing me from about four in the morning so the reality kicked in then," Mr Clemente said on Wednesday.

"It did happen and it's been a crazy ride ever since."

Dom Clemente after winning $1m thanks to Rekindling. Pic: Getty/Twitter

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Video of the lucky punter riding his horse home and the understandably ecstatic reaction to the win went viral after the race.

The TAB customer was selected at random to pick a Melbourne Cup winner for $1 million.

Instead of picking one of the short-price favourites, such as Almandin or Marmelo, the punter made the genius decision to pick $15 chance Rekindling, the sixth favourite.

"I started the day working so I never could have imagined this," he said.

"I was laying on the couch about to have a few bets when I got the call that I won the draw. I was actually home alone so I had to call a few mates who rushed over to watch with me."

"I was just numb. It’s a surreal feeling and I’m still in shock. I chose Rekindling because I liked its form overseas and its draw, but I never could have imagined this," he said.

Mr Clemente said he plans on taking a long holiday before figuring out how to spend the remainder of his vast winnings.

Owner Lloyd Williams with Rekindling. Pic: Getty

Mr Clemente's fortunes were in stark contrast to a punter from the Sunshine Coast who saw his $1 million chance fall half a length short of victory.

Michael Poole was this week offered the opportunity of a lifetime in a promotion from a bookmaker, to place a $1 bet at odds of one million to one.

The 34-year-old studied the form guide before putting his gold coin on Irish stayer Johannes Vermeer.

All the stress and excitement of his week came to a head at 3pm on Tuesday when Johannes Vermeer departed the gates in the $3.6 million race.

But soon his excitement turned to despair as Irish import Rekindling pipped Johannes Vermeer at the post after a long battle down the straight.

After not sleeping since making the massive bet, Poole may well have a few more tormented nights following his horse's agonising finish.

Jockey Corey Brown celebrates his second Melbourne Cup victory. Image: Getty

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Johannes Vermeer, who is raced by a group including prominent Australian owner Lloyd Williams, produced two eye-catching spring carnival runs in Melbourne without getting a major prize.

His fast-finishing second with Katelyn Mallyon aboard in the Group One Caulfield Stakes (2000m) was followed up by a luckless third under Melham in the $3 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) a week later.

With agencies


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