A little bit of research and a whole lot of beginner's luck turned Papamoa local Pauline Westhead's first punt into a winner on Melbourne Cup Day.

Ms Westhead put a cheeky $10 bet on Fiorente, whose triumphant win in front of 100,000 racegoers at Flemington yesterday resulted in trainer Gai Warehouse becoming the first Australian woman to train a Melbourne Cup winner.

Fiorente, the 6-1 favourite, surged home over 3200 metres ahead of British horses Red Cadeaux (60-1) and Mount Athos (12-1) to win the famous race by three-quarters of a length.

"I have never, ever put a bet on anything before," a jubilant Ms Westhead told Bay of Plenty Times after the race.


"I did go online beforehand and I found these three guys talking about the race and who they thought were going to win. I had two names and one came up.

"It must be beginner's luck because I do not know anything about the industry, I just thought it would be fun to have a little punt.

"The funny thing was I couldn't hear the race because everyone was screaming, it was only at the end when I saw who had won on the screen that I exploded."

Ms Westhead was one of more than 60 people who celebrated Melbourne Cup Day at Elizabeth Cafe & Larder yesterday, enjoying bubbles and nibbles along with a fashion show put on by Sisters & Co.

Judges Annemarie Quill from indulge magazine and Lilia Cass from Sisters & Co handed out prizes for best hat, best shoes, best tie and best-dressed man and woman.

Natalie Baird from Te Puna, who wore a black silk dress from TK, jacket by Bec & Bridge, shoes by Miss Wilson and a citron Karen Walker belt with bow detail, was named best-dressed woman.

Best-dressed man went to a dapper Mount local, Kyle Goldsack, who mixed a luxe Ralph Lauren shirt with 'ankle grazer' pants and jacket from online retailer ASOS.

"My pants were only $17," Mr Goldsack said.


"It just goes to show you can look good for not a lot of money!"