Punter?s chance in a Magic Million
By TONY WHITE
INITIALLY Grafton surveyor's assistant and punter Brian Tibbs thought it was a hoax call from one of his mates.
"You've just won a tenth share in an $80,000 yearling, free flights for two to the Gold Coast, three nights accommodation for two at Jupiter's Casino, attend the Magic Millions Yearling sales and entry into the Magic Millions marquee on Magic Millions day next year," the caller, representing Tabcorp said.
'Turn it up', Tibbs thought, 'who in the hell is this. I've never been that lucky'.
"A bloke from the TAB rang and said you've won all this stuff and I didn't believe him at first, I thought it was one of my mates playing a prank," Tibbs said.
"I was at work at the time and couldn't talk. The boss kept looking at me saying 'get back to work'."
When the prize was confirmed Tibbs couldn't believe his luck.
Tibbs was one of nine winners around NSW of Tabcorp's 'Win a Share in a Racehorse and Ultimate Magic Millions Experience' promotion.
"I was just doing what I do best, having a bet at the TAB and Ted Tanner (Grafton TAB proprietor) passed me a few tickets and said fill them out," Tibbs recalled.
"Low and behold I won.
"This is all a nice change of luck, especially for me."
Tibbs and Daniel McLeay from Bathurst were the only country based winners in the State wide promotion.
The unexpected windfall is every punters dream come true.
"You could back a loser but still win," Tibbs said.
At the world famous Magic Millions Yearling Sales on the Gold Coast between January 12 and 19, a yearling will be selected by trainer Gerald Ryan and syndicator Ken King to the value of around $80,000.
Winners of the promotion will be able to bid on the horse at the sales.
The horse will be trained by Ryan for a two-year period with no costs to the owners.
At the end of the contract syndicate members can either sell their share or elect to continue racing the horse.
Tibbs is no stranger to racing.
He's been a punter most of his life and has owned numerous racehorses including winners Karate and Totopoly, both trained by John Shelton.
"I've always loved a bet ... unfortunately," Tibbs said.
"I've been known to have a bit of a flutter from time to time.
"I've been to the Magic Millions for the past six years, but nothing like it's going to be this time."
Asked who was going to accompany him on the Magic Millions trip, Tibbs laughed and said he was facing a dilemma.
"My wife was the first to stick her hand up, but I've had to diplomatically let her know this is a once in a lifetime opportunity," he said.
"She was sort of okay with that, as long as she decided who was the good mate I was allowed to take. "A few of my mates are filthy,