Celebrating Albert the Fat’s Emirates Stakes victory are (from back) Brad Wood, Kristen Schimke, Paul Schimke, Dan Schimke, Leanne Schimke, (front) Kerryn White and Jessica Knight.
Celebrating Albert the Fat’s Emirates Stakes victory are (from back) Brad Wood, Kristen Schimke, Paul Schimke, Dan Schimke, Leanne Schimke, (front) Kerryn White and Jessica Knight. Contributed

Albert's fat winner's cheque

ALBERT the Fat, you little beauty.

For this gelding's 10 owners, most of whom are from Ipswich, Saturday's Emirates Stakes win at Flemington is still a bit of a dream.

The friends, who originally bought the horse "to have a reason to catch up, have a few beers and let the girls get dressed up", are slowly coming to grips with a staggering $600,000 winner's cheque.

Part-owner Jason White, of Ipswich's Big White Furniture store, summed up the feeling among the group.

"We were quite happy after we won our first maiden at the Gold Coast. Then he won three or four in a row in Brisbane and we thought this stuff is great fun.

"To win this, we're all on top of the world."

Another part-owner, Mark Stumer, described the feeling as surreal and said the owners hoped the win would be a boost for Ipswich racing.

"To win a group one race at the Flemington carnival is pretty much the pinnacle in Australia," he said. "We all have a lot of family in Ipswich and he (Albert the Fat) has a big following there.

"I think it will create a bit of a buzz for local racing fans. It just provides a bit of incentive to others to see that these types of things can happen."

Mr Stumer believes racing wins are a little better than other sports because owners have no control over the result.

"When you're involved in coaching and playing sport you have a certain level of control, but with a horse you are at arm's length," he said.

"When you get involved in these things to have a bit of fun socially and then you end up on the group one stage at Flemington, it makes it a lot more special."

DARE TO DREAM

  • Albert the Fat cost owners about $70,000
  • Prize money to date is $1.26 million
  • Owners are considering an initiation to the Dubai Duty Free Group One race in March, prize pool US$5 million


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