Almandin took out $3.8 million in the Melbourne Cup.

Whangarei punter Kylie Baas won only about $30 at the TAB after picking the winning horse but was jumping for joy after Almandin galloped to victory at Flemington Racecourse yesterday.

It was a double victory for the Whangarei administrator who also won the sweepstake at her work as she watched the race on a giant screen at Rynoz in central Whangarei.

Almandin beat Heartbreak City by a nose and favourite Hartnell which came third.

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Mrs Baas moved to Whangarei this year from Paihia.

"I drew the name of the winning horse out of a hat and read the odds before picking the horse. I usually win either the sweepstake at work or bet on the winning horse," she said.

"It's [winning amount] is not huge but it's good fun."

Hospitality tutor Sylvia Arama was also at Rynoz where about 40 people gathered to watch the race and she bet on Exospheric.

"I just enjoy the excitement of the race. Winning on horses doesn't really matter," she said.

Her interest in the Melbourne Cup started in 2000 when she played in a golden oldies netball tournament on the Gold Coast.

"They had a big screen in the courts and everyone came together to watch the race. I haven't missed any race since."

For more coverage see Page 37.