CANNONVALLEY-based part-owner of Prince of Penzance, Joe Dalton, has described the rank outsider’s win as a “fairytale”.
Dalton owns shares in the Melbourne Cup winner with his brothers Jonathon and Bruce, among several other syndicates and was happy to share the historic moment, as Prince of Penzance became the first $100-1 shot to win the cup in more than 70 years and jockey Michelle Payne wrote her name into the records as the iconic race’s first winning female jockey.
The Dalton Concrete Constructions owner, who described the brothers’ share in the horse as “healthy”, said he couldn’t believe his luck, having gone into Tuesday’s race at Flemington merely hoping for a top-10 finish.
“It was kind of disbelief at first then it sunk in with all the screaming and yelling,” he said.
“I wasn’t really sure coming into the straight but then I saw him and thought ‘we’ve got this’.
“I thought coming around the home turn he was going to get into the top-10 but it was a brilliant ride by Michelle Payne and I thought we might go a bit better than this. Then 400m out I thought we had it.”
Dalton said his brothers celebrated with the “four or five” other groups of owners at Flemington’s committee room before heading into South Melbourne for post-cup celebrations.
Closer to home, it was a much different race day for Dalton’s wife Ros. “I was here (in the Whitsundays) with my children, we had champagne and nibblies and then we were just jumping and screaming… the dog ate the cheese off the platter,” she said.
“After the race I was saying, ‘did it win, did it win?’ We couldn’t believe it. We were all kind of just shaking and teary.”
Like Joe, Ros had her fingers crossed for a top-10 finish.
“We had no expectations, we were just excited we had a horse in the race,” she said.
“I thought if it was top-10 it would be amazing.”
While bookies didn’t rate Prince of Penzance in the slightest, connections were quietly confident of surprising the 23 other runners.
“The trainer (Darren Weir) always said he thought it would be a top-10 finish,” Joe said.
“The conditioner said it would be a top five finish and could never understand the odds.”
Connections collected a share in $3.6 million.
Locals cleaned-up on Joe’s win, as his local watering hole, the Reef Gateway Hotel, ran out of money at the TAB.