Flemington is only a few hundred kilometres from Wangaratta but for former New Zealand jockey Cory Parish, it will seem like a world away today.
On Emirates Melbourne Cup Day last year, the jockey was plying his trade at the popular provincial meeting in the state's north-east, finishing out of the money in each of his four rides.
Had it not been for Boom Time and his surprise victory in last month's Caulfield Cup, Parish may have been back there today, battling out the finish of $10,000 maidens, reports Racing.com.
Instead, the 28-year-old will be going toe-to-toe with the likes of Dettori, Moreira and McEvoy in the $A6.2 million showpiece.
As it was in the Caulfield Cup, it will be Parish's first ride in the Melbourne Cup and, regardless of the result, he can't wait to chase history in Australia's most famous race.
"I've never had a Melbourne Cup ride, I've never ridden at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day and I've never even been along to watch," Parish said.
"So it'll be a huge thrill regardless of what happens."Such was the blowout nature of Boom Time's Caulfield Cup victory and his suspect 3200m record - he was more than 30 lengths off Godolphin raider Polarisation in the Sydney Cup earlier this year - that most bookmakers have the Lindsay Park-trained galloper a $26 chance to repeat the heroics today.
Parish is optimistic he can again defy his price and cause another upset.
A brilliant ride ensured Boom Time had the measure of Single Gaze (second), Johannes Vermeer (third) and Marmelo (sixth) at Caulfield and the jockey is already plotting a path to victory at Flemington.
"I'm very happy with nine, it gives me options because there is pace drawn inside and outside me," he said.
"I initially thought that I'd like to be drawn close to the fence but with the speed that they like to put into the first corner, I think it would've meant that I'd have to drive to hold a spot and by doing that I would've had to use him up too much.
"From nine, I can slide up with them and play it as I go.
"I don't think I need to find the rail, If I'm one off that will be great for me."Parish remains adamant that he won't be overawed by the occasion but said he was again keen to call on the advice of friend and mentor Blake Shinn, who won the Melbourne Cup aboard Viewed in 2008 and will partner last-start Cox Plate (2040m) runner-up Humidor today.
"I'll speak to someone like Blake Shinn beforehand about tactics and how they might run the race," he said.
"He helps me a lot and he gave me a pep talk before the Caulfield Cup.
"Obviously he is competing against me but he is just as pumped about my success than he is for his own."