On Sunday, at a property in Moonbi, two men toasted their horse coming sixth.
It wasn't the result they were after. But four-year-old mare Emm Aye Dee just making the final of the Group 1 $100,000 Hunter Region Championships, held at Newcastle Paceway on Saturday night, is viewed by both men - trainer-driver Dean Chapple and owner James Sills - as a victory.
For Chapple, it was his first Group 1 race as a trainer - after more than 30 years in the industry. For Sills, it was his first Group 1 race as a owner. He drove from his Sydney home on Sunday to meet with Chapple.
In a world where so much emphasis is placed on summiting pursuits, their low-key celebratory gathering was as refreshing as the cold autumn day that greeted them on Sunday.
"The experience was good," Chapple said, adding: "Look, we were there, she done her best, we were happy where she ran ... It was an experience we'll never forget."
Chapple was surprised Emm Aye Dee even made the final, which she qualified for by winning heat one of the Hunter Region Championships this month.
He has described qualifying for his first Group 1 as a "dream come true".