As Vow and Declare stormed to his thrilling Melbourne Cup victory on Tuesday, a group of novice part-owners in the Queensland town of Gympie were celebrating a dream come true.
- Most of Vow and Declare's 13 co-owners had never owned a horse before
- A number of them came from the small Queensland community of Gympie
- Gympie's Deputy Mayor said the town was "over the moon"
The horse, bred by the brother of local high school principal Anthony Lanskey, is the first Australian horse to win the Cup since Shocking in 2009.
Co-owner Bob Leitch, who is also Gympie's Deputy Mayor, told the ABC the Gympie community was "over the moon".
Video uploaded to Instagram by the Gympie Turf Club showed a small crowd of people cheering loudly in the wake of the win.
"My phone's running hot with texts so there's been a fair bit of money put on Vow and Declare," he said.
He said he was one of 13 co-owners in the racehorse, a number of whom were from Gympie and had never owned a horse before.
"It's been a ride and a half, I can tell you that," he said.
"The emotions flowed over when he ran past the post, he's a genuine stayer, he really runs well. Danny [O’Brien] does such a great job with him. "
Cr Leitch said he hoped the win would buoy the spirits of Gympie locals.
"We've been struggling with rain… we've had a couple of storms start to come through, but it's pretty dry up there," he said.
Asked whether he would consider taking on a second racehorse, Cr Leitch was philosophical.
"I have been told, 'Take this because it won't get any better than this', but would rather like to think there was another one somewhere," he said.