It is also the first time a female jockey has ridden the winner in the race’s 155-year history, giving Michelle Payne the opportunity to speak out over the sexism she has encountered.
“It is such a chauvinistic sport, some of the owners wanted to kick me off the horse,” she explained. “But I gave it everything I got. I want to say to everyone else get stuffed, they think women aren’t strong enough but we just beat the world.”
Payne rode home the race’s fourth ever 100/1 winner, so she will be forever in the good books of betting operators. Ladbrokes’ Roger Oldridge commented: “It was undoubtedly a good result for us. It’s fair to say we were riding him home pretty hard when he made his run. We had no live multi collects with Prince of Penzance nor are any running from it into any other features.”
On course bookmaker David McLauchlan agreed: “It was a good race for bookies. A hundred-to-one chance winning usually is a good result. Every horse of Darren Weir’s is backed of course so we didn’t get the lot, and you lay every horse in the race, but it was a good result.”
Not everyone was quite as ecstatic. It even appears that TAB Fixed Odds managed to run a loss. TAB spokesman Glenn Munsie told local press: “Nowhere near as good as everyone thinks. It ran a loser in the straight out book. Prince Of Penzance took out seven million dollars. We won through the doubles, so overall we won but there was over fifty thousand invested on it today at odds of over a hundred to one.”
Indeed one TAB punter picked up AUS$250,000 in winnings after placing a $2,000 bet at 125/1 30 minutes before the race was off. Overall the figures were still positive for TabCorp.
It reported $95.0 million in turnover on the Melbourne Cup race, up 5.7% on 2014, and made up of $54.3 million with the NSW TAB (up 4.3%), $38.8 million with the Victorian TAB (up 7.6%) and $1.9 million with the ACT TAB. There was also $5.9 million bet on the meeting with the Tabcorp-owned Luxbet.
Overall there was $141.8 million wagered on the 10-race Melbourne Cup meeting at Flemington across the Tabcorp-owned NSW, Victorian and ACT TABs. This was up 2.1% on 2014.
Tabcorp Managing Director and CEO David Attenborough commented: “It’s our biggest day of the year. Hundreds of thousands of customers visited our TAB outlets to be part of the race that stops the nation, as well as at racectracks across NSW, Victoria and the ACT. We also expect that by the end of the day we will have taken around 2 million bets via mobile devices.”