Gympie riding high on back of cup victory

Vow and Declare wins the 2019 Melbourne Cup: Gympie riding high on back of cup victory

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WINNER: Vow And Declare with jockey Craig Williams after the Melbourne Cup victory. Picture: Getty Images

WINNER: Vow And Declare with jockey Craig Williams after the Melbourne Cup victory. Picture: Getty Images

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"But we've bred Golden Slipper and Magic Millions winners, we've been very fortunate. But to win the Melbourne Cup, it will never happen again."

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THE Melbourne Cup has come home to Queensland after owner-breeder Paul Lanskey's Vow and Declare won the race that stops the nation.

Noosa-based Mr Lanskey syndicated the horse himself after it failed to meet a $60,000 reserve at the 2017 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

His nephew, Gympie State High School principal Anthony Lanskey and Gympie Regional Council's deputy mayor Bob Leitch were among those to take a share of the gelding, which has proven to be the best in Australia.

The four-year-old gelding has now won $5,722,690 in prize money from just 13 starts following his $4.65 million victory on Tuesday.

Cr Leitch said he couldn't believe his good fortune, with Vow and Declare the first race horse he had a share in.

For Kitchwin Hills Stud manager Mick Malone, where Vow and Declare was raised, the celebrations were continuing.

Mr Malone said he would never forget when he was told Vow And Declare had "the best action I've ever had anything to do with" by the person who broke him in.

Known as "Frank" when at Kitchwin Hills, Vow And Declare was seemingly destined for glory from a young age.

"He was a beautiful horse, he was so laid back," Malone said.

"I sent him to Shannon Betts at Emeran Park, she is a breaker and pre-trainer who does a lot of work for us. We send probably 20 to her every year.

"I remember Shannon rang me and said: 'Mick, I've never broke a horse like this in before. He has got the most unbelievable attitude, the best action I've ever had anything to do with'.

"I'll never forget it and amazingly she was on the money."

The victory was a rare one in the Melbourne Cup for Australian-bred horses and Malone was thrilled for his operation to play a key role.

"How tough was the win," he said. "Even 50 out, they were laying on him and he still put his head out to win.

"Barring everything else, for an Australian horse to win it - I'm just so happy in that regard. And then for it to be off our farm and be born and raised here, it's just really great.

"We are just a smaller farm. We foal around 100 mares each year, and a lot of those are retained.

"It's just a terrific result, not just for us but for the Hunter Valley."

The story Gympie riding high on back of cup victory first appeared on Newcastle Herald.

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