St George owned horse defies all the odds
Horse Racing: In an ode to bush spirit, a racehorse co-owned by well-known St George faces pulled off one of the most impressive feats on Saturday, winning the Magic Millions Country Cup at 100-1 odds.
Donna Stewart, former Balonne Shire Council mayor and Surat resident said a win like the one horse Mr Markou pulled off was something you dream of.
"We have had race horses for over 50 years off and on, and we've always dreamt to have one like this," Ms Stewart said.
"And now finally, we've got there, and it's a great feeling."
The last qualifier in the Frizelle Sunshine Magic Millions Country Cup, Mr Markou was number 16, seemingly his lucky number.
He drew a starting point on the outside barrier, and when the race began the bets were stacked against him at $81.
"None of the tipsters gave him a chance, but he came home in a storm," Ms Stewart said.
She said jockey Daniel Griffin had pulled off something remarkable.
"He knew that track. He let himself sit behind the pack right up until the 200m mark, where he came from behind and rode it home," she said.
Trained with Ben Currie at Toowoomba, Ms Stewart said she and the other co-owners applauded his work.
"He really is one of the best," she said.
Ms Stewart also co-owns Why Catch Him, who is set to run an equally impressive race this Saturday.
"He's a good tip, he holds the track record for the distance in Toowoomba," she said.
"We have two really good horses. In the past some have been alright around bush tracks, but these two have been really good for us in bigger meets."
Owned as part of a syndicate, Ms Stewart said she, her husband, daughter and her friends from Darwin, as well as St George local Duke Dengate, were all riding the post-win high.
"The horse had run a couple of good races for us in Toowoomba, but we didn't think he'd win at the Gold Coast. It was a big surprise," Ms Stewart said.
"But once you're on the pedestal there's only one way you can go."
While Ms Stewart wasn't there to witness the impressive run, her daughter Dee proudly accepted the cup on everyone's behalf.
The syndicate will split the $151,500 in prize money, with Ms Stewart saying her share of the cut would make a nice cheque to the training team.
"He has certainly been paying his way in the industry, and we're still celebrating the teamwork of Ben (Currie) and Daniel (Griffin)," she said.
"Here's to some more wins in our future."