A group of friends who won $ 500,000 months ago by supporting Vow and Declare to win the Melbourne Cup have filmed their anniversary moment on video.
Alex Xerri, 39, made a series of bets from June when Vow and Declare were at odds, and that won him $ 320,000 on Tuesday, while his friends collected $ 200,000 between them by following his hot tip.
Video made by his friend Jimmy Hoyne captured the joy as they watched TV as the gelding shot home to grab an exciting win.
However, it was bittersweet moment for Mr. Xerri when his father Paul, 81, died a month ago before he could collect $ 40,000 from bets he had also made on the horse.
The men screamed at the TV as the Melbourne Cup went down the last street before they erupted when Vow and Declare first crossed the line and they jointly won $ 500,000
& # 39; It was hard, I was really sad that he was never allowed to see the cup and share in the excitement and happiness & # 39 ;, he told Daily Mail Australia.
& # 39; He has always supported my judgment and I know he is proud of me. It was a very moving and emotional moment.
& # 39; I have to dedicate this to Dad. & # 39;
Mr. Xerri said he and his father placed their first bets on June 8 after seeing Vow and Declare take second place in the Queensland Derby.
Two weeks later, the gelding won the Tattersall & # 39; s Cup, but then they had to wait months to see him compete again at the Turnbull Stakes on October 5.
Tragically, Paul suddenly died of a suspected heart attack in the morning of the race, exactly one month before the Melbourne Cup.
Alex Xerri, 39, (pictured right with former AFL star Jonathan Brown) made a series of longshot bets from June and won him $ 320,000 on Tuesday
An eulogy at his funeral on October 11 even mentioned how excited he was to test their bets.
"The speech said he was really enthusiastic about a horse that will run in the Melbourne Cup, and the last few months of his life was what he was really looking for," he said.
Mr. Xerri said that his father stayed with him on horseback betting even when others in the family told him to stop.
& # 39; We went through his wallet and had all his bets and A4 paper printed, & # 39; he said.
& # 39; He believed it would happen, he'd never won that kind of money in his life, and we were talking about what we would do if it won. & # 39;
Mr. Xerri placed more bets in the following months and convinced at least 25 friends (two pictured) to board and place their own bets
Mr. Xerri's father arrived in Malta from Malta in the 1950s and settled in the suburb of Melbourne, Melbourne.
Because he didn't like a & # 39; wog & # 39; had to be seen and wanted to integrate with Australian society, he fell in love with AFL and was a passionate Blues supporter.
His affinity with horse racing began when he worked on the track as a side job while raising four children – all of whom were working at the races at one time.
Mr. Xerri said he was convinced that Vow and Declare could win the Melbourne Cup after winning a 1,800 m race on Oaks Day last year.
He listened to the advice of the famous horse trainer Danny O & Brien, who discussed the prospects of his horse.
& # 39; He said it was an elite that stayed ahead and everything it did suggested it could run the distance of the Cup, & # 39; he remembered.
& # 39; I then thought it was a potential Melbourne Cup champion. & # 39;
Mr. Xerri (pictured with his sister) dedicated the victory to his father Paul, who suddenly died a month before he allegedly won $ 40,000
Finally, after the Queensland Derby, he put $ 100 on the horse to win on 201/1 and $ 900 to place on 51/1.
Mr. Xerri placed more bets in the following months and convinced at least 25 friends to board and place their own bets.
By the time of Tuesday's race, Mr. Xerri win about $ 320,000 and his friends $ 200,000 between them in case the un-harvested gelding would win.
Mr. Hoyne's video showed that five of the friends became more and more exciting when Vow and Declare entered the finals straight to the leader's tail and gradually wore the margin.
Mr. Xerri could be seen shouting at the TV as the friends gathered around it, before he burst into cheers as Vow and Declare first crossed the border.
Mr. Xerri's Sportsbet balance after cashing in the bet on Tuesday. He made countless bets with various bookmakers as the race approached and won a total of $ 320,000
They hugged each other, jumped up and down and even threw beer cans into the celebration – hardly believing their luck
They hugged each other, jumped up and down and even threw beer cans into the celebration – hardly believing their luck.
& # 39; I have never felt like & hurry in my life … words cannot explain it, & # 39; said the friend who filmed the scene.
& # 39; So & # 39; one big day for the family man who has been riding this horse for more than a year and sees it come true – incredible. & # 39;
Mr. Xerri said that there was a lot of anticipation for the race and he knew that dozens of others were cashing in on the result.
& # 39; I was nervous, my legs were jelly. I had been telling it for so long and they would make money from it just because I said so, & he said.
It all worked out and many of his friends and family won tens of thousands of dollars following his leadership.
He is now planning to take time off from work to pursue his dream of becoming a professional poker player.
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