Kiwi jockey Cory Parish has won the 2017 Caulfield Cup aboard Boom Time in a huge upset.

Boom Time, the least-fancied of three runners for Lindsay Park, produced a boilover to win the $3 million Cup, taking an inside run to beat Single Gaze and the Irish-trained, Australian-owned Johannes Vermeer.

Boom Time, who was $43 on the tote, is trained by David Hayes, his son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig.

The thrilling victory was Parish's first Group 1 win and a career highlight, but his journey to that point is perhaps even more impressive.

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When he was 15, Parish persuaded his parents to allow him to leave school to pursue his dream of being a jockey.

But in early 2013, Parish's dream of becoming a successful jockey started to slip away as he was laying foundation floors, struggling to make ends meet.

In an interview with Sydney Morning Herald, the 28-year-old said that period was a "tough and relentless" time in his life.

"Things moved pretty quickly. When I was 21 I became a father and, of course, responsibilities with that also followed.

"I could see I was up against the wall at trying to make a living in the lower-graded races in New Zealand," Parish told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"They were racing for just $5000 and, to put it bluntly, what was coming in at the end of the week couldn't match the amount of bills that were stacking up.

"My father lay housing foundations so I just had to go and join him to make money. It was hard, tough and relentless, but what it did do was make me think how badly do I want to be a jockey."

In 2013, Parish journeyed to Australia, with his wife Alisha and daughter Ruby, to try and make it as a jockey.

"I first thought I would go to Queensland but my advice was no, you must try and make it in Melbourne. It's hard and highly competitive, they told me, but if you manage to get a foothold it will be worth it," said Parish.

During his time across the ditch, the young Kiwi ran across former leading jockey and senior executive of Darren Weir stable, Darryn Murphy, who took Parish under his wing.

Parish soon made a name for himself and became a regular feature at one of Australia's most powerful racing operations.

"It hasn't been easy, but what hard work has shown is that if you keep trying, winners will come and people will sit up and take notice and I'm finding that more and more."