SCREAMS of excitement drowned out the booming cracks of thunder when the timer hit zero on the Melbourne Cup countdown.

Almost 6000 people turned up to the Sunshine Coast Turf Club donning their fanciest gear to celebrate the race that stops the nation.

Turf club CEO John Miller, in charge for his first Melbourne Cup, said the day couldn't have gone better, except for one thing - his horse came second.

Mr Miller kept his punt a secret but said he bet nothing "game-changing" on Johannes Vermeer to win.

"I came second, I couldn't get the winner and I don't actually know anyone who won big from today's Cup," he said.

"I probably need to watch the replay but I was a bit frustrated on the result, as you always are with second place."

Mr Miller said despite the weather, the event ran smoothly.

"Just as the Melbourne Cup race began there was a massive crack of thunder," he said.

"It was actually pretty eerie."

He said the meeting drew a mixed crowd, from teenagers to the elderly, corporate groups and serious punters.

"I have experience running meets before at all different race courses, but this was my first Melbourne Cup and I feel pretty positive about it," he said.


"It's a working day and we managed to get a massive crowd of about 5500 people - that's a pretty good result.

"Just goes to show how many people really take an interest in it."

Mr Miller said the club would look at changing it up next year on a number of fronts.

"We had a really good spread and outcome this year but I am always looking to do things better, and there is always room for improvement.

"The real focus is trying to make the experience at the racecourse as good as it can be."

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