New Zealand's biggest and noisiest punting party may be robbed of their chance to place one of the largest bets in New Zealand racing history on Saturday.
Facebook group Boys Get Paid is set to amass at least a $220,000 punting war chest for Saturday's Karaka Million meeting at Ellerslie and have already gone on the attack.
They have placed a $50,000 fixed odds bet on Probabeel at $1.95 to win the Karaka Classic Mile (race six) and a $28,500 multi on Catalyst to win and Taroni to finish top 4 in the Karaka Million, the latter dividend initially paying out $100,000 but with deductions possible after Piaggio was scratched from the race.
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The top four payout comes into play as the TAB will pay four fixed odd place dividends on races 2-6 at the mega meeting.
BGP founder and pied piper Luke Kemeys says the response to the punting club has been stunning.
"Obviously we had a magic night here the last couple of years but the interest this year has been enormous," says the Auckland-based accountant.
"We will have over 400 BGP members at the track and well over 1000 different people involved in the punters club.
"Some of them are people who are already in punters clubs who have joined us for the day, others are groups who want to have their own party and watch the races at home, whether that is in Invercargill or Australia, but be part of the fun.
"We are already past $200,000 in the kitty and I think $220,000 is likely but $240,000 is possible.
"That last figure would be great so we could average around $40,000 spend per race."
Kemeys says while his group's members want a return many are involved for the fun and will roll the money over into future punters clubs.
Last year's BGP cleaned up when Probabeel won the Karaka Million, setting off scenes rarely seen at a New Zealand sporting venues as they paid their very loud respects to winning jockey Opie Bosson.
Kemeys and his team of analysts were keen to have a $100,000 bet on Catalyst, the hot favourite for race two on Saturday, but were put off by his $1.10 fixed odds price.
"That is too short so we are hoping they drift him out," he explains.
"But we already have him in that multi bet."
TAB bookie Stephen Hunt said $100,000 bets are extremely rare in New Zealand but he wasn't going to be doing the BGP any favours.
"Catalyst might get out to $1.15 but not the $1.20 I hear they want," laughed Hunt.
The Australian TAB opened Catalyst at $1,60 on Wednesday and were slammed with big bets, including one of A$94,000 at $1.45.
He is now $1.30 there but with other runners shorter than the NZ TAB.