Saturday's Golden Slipper delivered a Cinderella story for Tamworth couple Bianca and Andrew Pieper.
The Piepers lived a real-life fairytale as part-owners of speedster She Will Reign, the bargain buy that sealed ultimate glory in the $3.5 million group 1 race.
Andrew, who arrived back home in Tamworth on Sunday, said the realisation was slowly sinking in.
“It’s surreal,” he said.
“I still can’t believe we won the Golden Slipper.
“I’ve replayed it a few times and it gets better and better.”
The Piepers are among a group of around 20 owners in the filly, which cost just $20,000 and before Saturday had earned more than $500,000 in prize money.
“We’ve just had a great journey. The other owners are fantastic,” Pieper said.
Many of them are like him, first-time owners.
Jockey Ben Melham has been lauded for his brilliant and daring ride, taking her across to the fence and to the back of the field.
“Ben walked the course after race five or six and said that’s where I’m going,” Pieper said.
“We know the horse has a remarkable cruising speed and a really fast turn of foot.
“She went from fourth-last to fourth within the matter of a (home) turn, then he (Melham) let her go and the horse had too much.”
Melham ensured She Will Reign ranged up to Houtzen with around 300m to go before powering away to defeat Frolic by 2 ¼ lengths.
Pieper added connections had touted a possible tilt at the $10 million Everest as the next long-range goal.