Former NSW MP Geoff Corrigan compares winning a Melbourne Cup to waiting for a knife-edge election result.
“It’s just like waiting for a vote to come in on election day,” the remarkably calm part-owner said shortly after winning the $8 million race.
“I was in a very close margin seat and so I used to have to wait until about 10 or 11 o’clock at night to find out if I got back into parliament.”
But watching his horse Vow And Declare win the Melbourne Cup was a feeling like no other.
“It’s fantastic,” said Corrigan, who owns half of the Danny O’Brien-trained gelding.
“I’ve never had a feeling like this before.”
Others among the 13-strong all-Australian ownership group who won the Cup were first-time racehorse owners, achieving something some of the world’s racing’s elite have not been able to do despite years and millions spent trying.
“The Gympie people are first-time owners. They think it’s normal,” Corrigan said, laughing.
“I’ve got news for them.”
The two Stuarts – Stuart Livingstone and Stuart Knipe, both draftsmen from Melbourne – are also first-time owners.
“The dream’s happened,” Livingstone said.
“We’re absolutely ecstatic. I can’t believe it – first Cup runner, first Cup winner. One from one.”
Noosa-based “hobby breeder” and construction company boss Paul Lanskey had initially tried to sell Vow And Declare at a yearling sale.
“We were hoping for in the order of $90,000 for the horse and I don’t think we even got a bid,” Lanskey recalled.
When the gelding was passed in, Corrigan decided to jump in with the other owners of Vow And Declare’s half-brother, the O’Brien trained Lycurgus.
His wife was initially dubious.
“My wife said ‘you’re not buying another horse are you?’.”
Lanskey kept a share in the gelding, with other shares kept in the family with his sons, nephews and partners.
Corrigan was set to fly to Queensland on Wednesday, in time for grandparents’ day at his granddaughter’s primary school on Thursday.
“I imagine that the Melbourne Cup will be making a show-and-tell appearance,” he said.