Connections of 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow and Declare celebrated this week and no more so than Queensland connections, part-owners Kort Goodman and Bob Leitch and Paul Lanskey.
Kort Goodman is the principal of Assumption College in Warwick, while Bob is Deputy Mayor of the Gympie Regional Council and Paul is a Noosa businessman.
Ridden to victory – the first Australian horse to win the Melbourne Cup since Shocking in 2009 – by jockey Craig Williams and trained by Danny O’Brien, Vow and Declare won in a nail-biting finish followed by drama as protests were lodged over second and third placings.
Prince of Arran was declared second and Il Paradiso third after Master of Reality, with Frankie Dettori on board, initially was placed second after leading by a length in the closing 100 metres of the Cup.
The finish is considered one of the greatest in the Melbourne Cup’s 159-year history.
As well as being as Aussie win, Vow and Declare’s victory was all the more sweet as an underdog, with the gelding having been at one time considered a ‘jumper’ and failing to sell at the 2017 Inglis Classic sale before being bought by his current connections.
Kort Goodman told media yesterday the Melbourne Cup win had “raised the hairs on the back of my neck”.
Goodman and Leitch are former school rugby league mates.
With 200 metres to go in Tuesday’s Cup Vow and Declare looked beaten as Master of Reality led the field but Williams kept a cool head and to surged up the inside of the field in the closing seconds of the race while Master of Reality drifted left.
Prince of Arran jockey Michael Walker was suspended for seven meetings and copped at $10,000 fine for a whip-breach while Dettori received a nine-meeting suspension for careless riding.
Winning jockey Williams celebrated his first Cup win after 14 attempts, saying it had been a “privilege” to ride Vow and Declare with a “difficult barrier draw”.