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AGAINST all odds, the Melbourne Cup did not pass into the hands of media moguls or foreign princes, but a bunch of Aussie battlers from drought-torn places like Gympie and Warwick.

Among them was Assumption College, Warwick, principal Kort Goodman.

“(It was) an amazing feeling and really quite surreal; we were obviously initially ecstatic but then really pinching ourselves,” Mr Goodman, who has a quarter-share in this year’s winner Vow And Declare, said.

The four-year-old chestnut gelding is the first Australian runner to win the $8 million race since Shocking in 2009.

“Being part of a group of such quality people made the experience all the better,” Mr Goodman said.

He said the community reaction was “amazing and overwhelming”.

It was the win the region needed.

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