Gympie on the cusp of Melbourne Cup history
HORSE RACING: History could be made on Monday when a Gympie owned gelding Vow And Declare, short-listed for this year's Melbourne Cup, secures a starting position in the race.
Ladbrokes have the 4-year-old at $15 to win in the 24 runners in the race that will stop the nation on Tuesday, November 5.
Two of the 13 owners are Gympie's Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch and Gympie State High School principal Anthony Lanskey.
"It is just a waiting game now to see what unfolds," Lanskey said.
"There is a race tomorrow, the Moonee Valley Gold Cup which is another qualifier and next Saturday which is Derby Day the Lexus which is another qualifier. We have nothing more we can do now. The plan is to go straight into the cup."
It was through Lanskey's uncle that the two gained ownership of Vow And Declare.
"My uncle owned the mother and bred Vow And Declare and put him up for sale and he was passed in. My uncle decided to hold onto him and offered some shares in his ownership. I jumped at the opportunity and got some mates and family members involved," Lanskey said. "We have 13 in the ownership and have been pretty lucky to have had the opportunity."
Lanskey has always had an interest in horse racing but this is the first horse he has owned.
"My grandfather was a bookmaker and my dad had horses and I have always had a keen interest in horse racing but have never had the opportunity to own a horse," he said.
"This is the first and (I'm) very lucky to be in this situation."
It was thinking about what he wanted for his birthday that helped Leitch decide it was a racehorse.
"I turned 50 a couple years ago and my wife was asking me what I wanted and I kept saying 'I do not know and I'm not sure'," he said.
"There was one night on the lounge and Anthony had rung me and said 'basically are you interested and if you are, you need to commit'. I looked at my wife and I said 'I know what I want for my 50th, a share in a racehorse'.
" It has been a remarkable ride and it has been a wonderful opportunity."
Vow And Declare has given plenty of opportunities for his owners to celebrate but Leitch said there were a few that stood out.
"The first victory at a country race it was good," he said. "He won on Oaks Day which was a great thrill. We were in the Aussie Hotel in Gympie and cheered him home."
Final start list is announced Saturday, November 2.