A horse bred in Woolsthorpe and owned by a group of workers from Midfield Meat won the fourth running of the prestigious Jericho Cup at Warrnambool on Sunday.
Wil John, trained by Winslow export Ciaron Maher, fought off a gallant effort by Budd Fox to win the 4600-metre flat race in front of more then 5000 patrons.
Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, dedicated the win of Wil John to his mum Eileen and gave special mention to Wil John's owners headed by local businessman, Colin McKenna.
"It's really special to come back home and win such a great race," Maher told The Standard.
"It's no secret that Colin and his wife Janice have been great supporters of mine and to repay them with a win in the Jericho Cup is really special.
"The Jericho Cup is a race that is close to the hearts of Colin and Janice plus the other owners, they all really wanted to win the Jericho Cup. Wil John is just a tough stayer.
"Mum is also a great supporter of her four boys. She loves going to the races and catching up with everyone."
McKenna was choked with emotion after the win of his home-bred galloper.
"I can't really describe how special it is to win the Jericho Cup," McKenna said.
"Janice and I bred Wil John out at Woolsthorpe and to have friends from work in the ownership is tremendous.
"It's great to have a horse you bred win any race but to win a race like the Jericho is wonderful.
"I've got to acknowledge Bill Gibbins. The Jericho Cup is Bill's brainchild. He put his money and time into making the Jericho Cup such a wonderful race."
Maher and Eustace trained Ablaze to win the 2019 Jericho Cup.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.