The Miners Rest racing community is no stranger to Melbourne Cup success.
In fact, the success of longshot Prince of Penzance - for jockey Michelle Payne and trainer Darren Weir - is ingrained into this country's sporting folklore.
Now an entire from the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace yard is carrying the hopes of many in the region.
And there's few more excited than Nikki White.
The 25-year-old born-and-bred Queenslander has only been working with Maher and Eustace for the past six months or so, but has quickly developed a close bond with one of the stable's stars in Persan.
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White is the horse's regular track rider and works with him basically every day, often while most of us are still asleep.
"He goes out first lot every morning about 10 to 5," White says.
"He will go with one of the ponies to the track just because he is still a bit colty at times. It's just easier to have the pony - they don't really worry about them, rather than pair him up with an old gelding.
"He does his work, comes home, goes on the walker, walks for 20 minutes and goes back to bed really. He has his breakfast and any treatments or whatnot, that would be done through the day.
"Other than that, he's a really straight-forward horse. He just loves his work, loves his job and loves his food as well. So that's definitely a big plus."
Like White, Persan is only relatively new to the Maher and Eustace stables. The son of Pierro had his first nine runs for David Payne in Sydney before being transferred to Victoria, where he has barely put a foot wrong.
Persan won his maiden at start number two for his new trainers and has since gone on to collect five more victories, including a most recent triumph in the group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 3.
That success booked the four-year-old a spot in the Melbourne Cup (3200m), which he will contest first-up from a four-and-a-half week break on November 3.
While he's not right at the top of Cup betting markets, can Persan produce something special and win Australia's greatest race?
"I'm probably a bit bias, but yes," White said.
"Half the problem is they've got to relax and they've got to get the trip and if these horses haven't raced over the trip - which I assume only the internationals probably have - then they've all got that in common really.
"He switches off no worries and if he can get a cart into the race and there's a bit of speed on, who knows what will happen?
"Flemington is a long straight and he's been left in front a long way out before and he's still been able to just knuckle down. He was so raw then, too.
"He needs that little bit of TLC and a little bit of a pat here and there, but everything they've thrown at him he has gone and done it. And he just does everything untapped really.
"I have no words for him, the things that he's done."
In a famous post-race interview after winning aboard Prince of Penzance, Payne admitted to allowing herself a chance to dream before claiming the race back in 2015. And it seems as though White has also taken the time to ponder what victory next week would feel like.
"...you just go into that thought and you think 'what happens if this horse wins?'," she said.
"It sounds stupid, but you do have those little dreams...
"There's been a couple where you can picture yourself in the mounting yard. I'd be in tears. I was in tears when he won The Bart Cummings."
"I'd be absolutely beside myself if he won."
It sounds stupid, but you do have those little dreams... There's been a couple where you can picture yourself in the mounting yard. I'd be in tears. I was in tears when he won The Bart Cummings."Nikki White
White's story is like many in the horse racing industry. She followed in the footsteps of her father - a former jockey - and can always remember riding or being around horses.
She worked with well-known trainer Bevan Laming on the Gold Coast before moving to Victoria about six years ago. White has spent most of her time here working for respected horseman Dan O'Sullivan, but recently took up a new role with his next-door neighbours.
"I still remember the first time I galloped a horse, I said to Dad 'I went really fast, I thought my helmet was going to blow off'," White recalled.
"It keeps you going, it keeps you interested and the hours that we work, if you didn't love it it would just be a horrible job to do. So I think you've really got to love the horses, you've got to love the industry..."
A Melbourne Cup success would be a fairytale for the state's leading training partnership, which took over Weir's Miners Rest complex in February 2019 after he was banned from racing for four years following the alleged discovery of electric-shock devices.
Maher and Eustace, who have other stables around the country, have been running hot ever since and captured their first Cox Plate last weekend with import Sir Dragonet. That horse is also destined for the Cup and is an equal favourite with the TAB at $7.
The team also has stablemates Etah James and Azuro aimed at the race.