WHAT a tense photo finish it was in the race that stops the nation, with no one was quite as nervous as Grant Rintoul.
With shaking hands, Mr Rintoul stood, eyes glued to the big screen at the Irish Village as he waited for confirmation that French raider Dunaden had crossed the 3200m mark a whisker ahead of Red Cadeaux in the 2011 Melbourne Cup
"I just made $5780," an ecstatic Mr Rintoul said.
"I'm not shaking quite so much now.
"I also had a boxed trifecta, but it was no good."
He had bought the winning thoroughbred in the Irish Village Melbourne Cup Calcutta on Monday for $800, and his gamble certainly paid off.
As did the $30 win bet Tony Berthun placed, earning himself upwards of $250.
"I don't know what it was, really, that made me choose him but Americain was the favourite to win but Dunaden was in the middle of the draw," Mr Berthun said.
"It's just great."
Four agonising minutes passed while racing officials studied one of the tightest photo finishes in Melbourne Cup history before announcing the race results - Dunaden first, with Red Cadeaux second and Lucas Cranach rounding out in third.
Touted favourite Americain held strong for the race's start but came steaming late for a hard-fought fourth.
But it was the glamour of the nation's favourite race that brought in the cheers, excitement and exhilaration as punters flocked to big screens around Emerald to watch the horses pound the track.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.