Cup fever spreads as 'stayers' party on

By Joseph Aldridge

Rookie punters and experienced gamblers gathered around TV screens clutching little pieces of paper and yelling wildly as they cheered on their chosen horse in yesterday's Melbourne Cup.

Around Tauranga, people dressed up in race-day attire and gathered excitedly to watch the famous race.

More than one hundred people gathered at Cornerstone Pub on the Strand to watch the Cup runners burst out of the gates at 5pm.

When Irish-bred Green Moon crossed the finish line in first place, fist pumps identified who the winners were.

Self-employed engineer Brian "Ted" Griffin had a ticket for the winning horse for the second time in three years. In 2010, he was photographed by the Bay of Plenty Times throwing his hands in the air in victory at the Cornerstone Pub.

On both occasions, he was celebrating his birthday with friends.

While clearly happy, Mr Griffin was playing down yesterday's win.

"It's only a sweepstake, it's not a biggie. I bought the ticket for $10 but I've got no idea how much I'll get. A couple of hundred perhaps."

Mr Griffin said he was a "rookie" and had chosen the horse "blind" but he'll definitely be back next year for another lucky punt.

Also lucky was Dave Chadwick who was seen counting his winning tickets after the race with his mate Stu Hare.

The two men had been at the pub since 11am and had placed over 60 bets between them.

Mr Chadwick, wearing a shirt with "It's ma lucky, lucky day" emblazoned on it, had $50 on Green Moon to win and was looking forward to cashing in his winning tickets.

Mr Hare said the pair had enjoyed a very successful day.

"Between us we're up about $6000 for the day. We've had a ball."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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