By ADRIAN MILLER
WHAT would you have given to be sitting in the owner's box at Flemington yesterday to watch Makybe Diva create Melbourne Cup history?
A pipe dream for most, but not for Palmers Island man Bob Johnson, who sat shoulder to shoulder with the mare's owner Tony Santic and his wife Christine. While the rest of us watched Makybe Diva snare her third Melbourne Cup and a slice of racing folklore from home, work or local pubs, Mr Johnson was enjoying the hospitality of the Santics in the owner's box.
Mr Johnson said it was an unbelievable experience.
"It has been absolutely magnificent," he said.
"Fun, fun, fun all the way.
"Everybody can't appreciate how hyped everybody was when the race jumped ? it was pandemonium.
"When she took off at the 500-metre mark, well as you can imagine, everyone went bonkers."
Mr Johnson said he would not forget the experience any time soon.
"I'm really pleased the horse won, but the thing I'm most thrilled about was just having the opportunity to be here to see history made," he said.
"It was pretty special for me."
Mr Johnson was invited to the race by a close friend, who is a friend of the Santics.
"A good mate of mine is friends with them, he invited me down," he said.
The fun didn't stop after the race for Mr Johnson, who was also invited to party at Crown Casino with the connections of the horse last night. And, of course, he won money on the magnificent mare.
"You'd be mad not to be on that horse," Mr Johnson said.