He said the violent reaction was completely unwarranted.
The incident came in the run up to troubled year for the Cup which was marred by allegations of cruelty to retired racehorses.
Tim Cohen runs the East Brunswick Wine Store in Melbourne’s inner north.
In a Facebook post, he said a woman came to his bottle shop on Monday, the day before the Cup.
“Tim suggested she might buy a ticket to the Melbourne Cup sweepstake,” said the post on the bottle-o’s Facebook page.
“The outraged and offended customer then spat in Tim’s face.”
Mr Cohen said he was so blindsided by the uncalled for attack, he felt compelled to close the shop early.
News.com.au has contacted the East Brunswick Wine Store for comment.
Mr Cohen elaborated on the ordeal to The Age.
He said the customer came to his store about 6pm on Monday to buy some beer when he offered her a ticket to the sweepstake.
“She just turned white, with absolute anger in her expression.”
He then said she spat in his face and called him a “pig”.
Mr Cohen said he had felt shocked by the ABC investigation that uncovered retired thoroughbreds being kicked and beaten before being slaughtered for pet food.
He would have expected some people to avoid taking part in the sweep but the customer’s behaviour was “disturbing”.
“Outrage in this suburb has become a sport unfortunately,” he added.
Since he posted about the incident, Mr Cohen has received support from locals.
“Some people are beneath animals. That’s common assault,” said one.
“Absolutely offensive behaviour. What is wrong with people these days?” said another.
Protesters lined the route of the Cup parade on Monday as well as greeting punters on their way into the Flemington track.
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A short distance up the road, an estimated 100 protesters had gathered playing music and yelling at racegoers to “enjoy the race” and “hopefully no horses die”.
Also in the crowd of protesters were three women wearing frocks and hats who covered themselves in fake blood to parade in front of cameras.
The trio mocked the tradition of “fashions on the field” complete with catwalk modelling poses.
Six horses have died in recent years at the race.
Yesterday, Rostropovich, the horse that finished last in this year’s Cup was taken to an equine clinic with a stress fracture in its pelvis.
Rostropovich’s jockey Dwayne Dunn stopped pushing the five-year-old during the race when he realised something wasn’t right.
“He hasn’t pulled up too well. He’s obviously sustained an injury somewhere in the run,” Dunn said.
However, initial fears that the horse could add to the Cup’s grim tally appear to have eased with the hope Rostropovich will recover.
The concerns about animal welfare have coincided with a fall in popularity for the event.
Fewer people are attending race day at Flemington.
The TV coverage of the event, which switched from Channel 7 to Channel 10 this year, also saw a ratings fall.
In 2018, 1.84 million people watched the race. This year, Channel 10 mustered 1.76m viewers, although it was easily the day’s biggest program.
The Melbourne Cup has not recorded more than 2 million viewers since 2015.