How 2 Gympie teachers wound up with share in Vow and Declare
GYMPIE'S own Melbourne Cup favourite, Vow and Declare has come a long way since Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch and Gympie State High School principal Anthony Lanskey first put their Cup bets on 12 months ago.
And that was a lot further than the gelding's career looked like getting in 2017, when Mr Lanskey's Noosa uncle Paul Lanskey put the gelding up for auction at the Inglis Classic Sale.
Bidding fell $15,000 short of a $60,000 reserve, so Paul Lanskey took his horse home and offered shares to family members, including Anthony Lanskey.
He brought in his old mate Bob Leitch and they involved their families as well.
"When he won on Derby Day 12 months ago, we locked in our bet for the Cup, with odds then of 500 to one," the Gympie High School principal said in a phone interview from Melbourne on Monday.
The horse, unwanted and largely unnoticed a year ago had shortened to $10 for the win at the TAB by Friday.
Bad news about an unfavourable barrier drawer boosted the odds slightly this week, but by now it seems Vow and Declare has become almost a national hero, rated by experts as one of two Australian horses in with a big chance at Flemington.
Some commentators are saying Vow and Declare and fellow Queenslander Surprise Baby, are the state's and Australia's best hopes of winning the Cup from a strong field of internationals.
It is all not such a bad situation for a syndicate that includes Melbourne Cup first timers like Anthony Lanskey and his two sons, Lachlan and Ben, as well as Paul Lanskey's sons Tom and Joseph.
But the betting odds may be a secondary consideration for the 13-person syndicate which hopes to be sharing the $4.4 million first-past-the-post Melbourne Cup prize.
"We've only got a small piece of it, but have been enjoying the ride for sure," Anthony Lanskey said. "It's been a bit of a whirlwind really and its gone pretty quickly."
The Lanskey's hope Vow and Declare goes even more quickly at 2pm (Brisbane time) or 3pm (with Daylight Saving).