Prospector’s find a winning omen

November 17, 2023 BY

Wild: Hobby prospector Guy Nicholas found a small metal horse with the number three while prospecting a few days prior to placing a winning bet on the horse with the same number in the Melbourne Cup. Photo: SOPHIE FOUNÉ

 ARE coincidences real? One Strathfieldsaye man’s story might have you thinking. 

Guy Nicholas has been prospecting for gold and other treasures for almost 20 years, starting at 21.  

“Back then it was only an old man’s game for retired people, but it’s got pretty popular now of course,” he said. 

Mr Nicholas has found many interesting objects in that time, from nuggets of the precious metal to a range of other treasures including old Chinese coins, shards of pottery, toys, and bits off cars.  

Two weeks ago, after the Bendigo Cup but before the Melbourne Cup, Mr Nicholas found a metal figurine of a horse and jockey with a number three etched into its saddle.  

“I just went out to one of my spots out in the bush,” he said. “The horse itself is made of zinc, I’ve learnt since. 

“Apparently, it’s an old French game from around about the 1920s, it’s a broken piece off it. People are arguing about it online.” 

Mr Nicholas is part of a gold prospecting group on Facebook, Gold Hunters Victoria, and another member posted what she believed to be a one-hundred-year-old children’s game she thought the figurine could be from. 

It looks like it could have been part of Jeu de Course by M J and Company circa early 1900s, a French mechanical racing game.  

“I can look at the horses on that picture and it bloody well looks like those,” said Mr Nicholas. 

This is where it gets really interesting. As he found it a few days before the Melbourne Cup, Mr Nicholas decided to bet on horse number three, Without a Fight, which won the race and walked away with $651!