THREE "bushies" from Armidale will have a crack at the world's richest race on Turf.
Jim Dedes, Harley Payne and Gary Russell are, and have been for many years, racing mates with interests in plenty of horses.
More recently their syndicate, the Golden Table, named after their favourite bench in the St Kilda Hotel, of which Harley is the licensee has had a share in Yes Yes Yes.
The Chris Waller-trained three-year-old colt, who was runner-up in the Golden Eagle, has been named as one of the runners in the $14 million Everest at Randwick on Saturday week.
On Saturday another one of their horses, Cliff's Edge will run in a Group 1 Toorak Handicap at Flemington.
Not bad for the "Golden Table".
Jim is the long-serving secretary manager of the Armidale Jockey Club, Harley is the St Kilda Hotel publican and Gary a local school teacher.
"It's amazing, a few old bush battlers like us," said Jim Dedes.
"We never thought anything like this would happen. I was just saying the other day we remember when we were quite happy to win a Bundarra Maiden."
Times have moved on and after the Golden Table had a couple of Victorian country and provincial winners they moved up to Cliff's Edge, who runs in the Group 1 Toorak Saturday.
"Can't believe his price, 40-1," Jim said.
"He worked well the other morning."
He might also lead in the Toorak and give a ton of cheek.
However it is the Everest that has drawn all the interest and with just over $6 million in prizemony to the winner could make the Golden Table a rich little "piece of furniture".
"He's got to be a bit of a chance," Jim Dedes said.
"It was great going to the Golden Slipper and then he was scratched from the Magic Millions on the morning of the race and ran a big second in the Golden Eagle."
Yes Yes Yes's emergence as an Everest hope is also a huge boost for Jim with the Armidale Jockey Club having to transfer recent meetings because of the drought.
"It's just been devastating," Jim said.
"We haven't been able to water our track since April. Need some rain desperately. We are due to race Cox Plate day but unless we do we'll have to transfer that as well."
Taree trainer Ross Stitt also returns to Randwick on Saturday with But I Know.
The four-year-old daughter of So You Think won her last start in a Highway Handicap at Rosehill but has drawn badly (13) in Saturday's TAB $75,000 Highway Handicap (1600m).
Andrew Adkins rode the mare at her last start and reunites Saturday.