The odds of 10 good mates having shares in five of the 16 runners in today's $500,000 Golden River Developments Perth Cup (2400m) must be massive.
But in what may be a first, on the cup's 137th running, businessman Neil Pinner and nine of his mates own almost a third of today's field at Ascot.
Pinner, Gary Dickie, Garry Ralston, Brad Willison and Ron Whyte bought into former English-raced stayer Marden when leading trainer Adam Durrant rang to say he had negotiated a last-minute deal to secure the last-start Caulfield winner from Sydney's premier trainer Chris Waller.
The new owners had to pay an $11,000 late entry fee on top of the purchase price to have Marden included into the cup field.
Durrant has forged bonds with Waller after transferring Mr Moet to his stables to be prepared for the lucrative Sydney autumn carnival.
Marden has been solidly backed into $13 on the TAB in the cup, with his stablemate Keepers Court firm at $14.
"It actually started five months ago when Gary Dickie and I were having a beer with Adam at the races," Pinner said.
"Gary asked Adam if he ever came up with a Perth Cup horse to give him a ring.
"Three weeks ago Adam rang to say he had one and were we interested.
"It came as a big surprise, but he needed some extra owners to accommodate his existing clients he had put into Marden.
"Our four friends bought 10 per cent each."
Pinner owned the Group 1-winning mare Ellicorsam with former WAFL and VFL star Tony Buhagiar and former Fremantle captain Shaun McManus. McManus is a partner in Platinum Rocker, who was nailed by Lucky-gray in the last strides of last month's Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m).
Then there is David Bushell, who is a part-owner in Talent Show ($31). Pinner played in the Sunday Football League with Bushell for Applecross, when they were pitted against Dickie, who played for Wanneroo.
Another shareholder in Talent Show from the football field is David Strom.
Paul Higgins is another mate. He is a partner in Daneclicked ($26), the second string for trainer Vaughn Sigley, who has the $5.50 cup co-favourite Rohan.
"I have known Higgo for 40 years," Pinner said. "I used to have to babysit him."
Peter Miguel, an owner in the topweight Kincaple ($8), and Pasquale Princi, a shareholder in Pop Culture ($5.50), are other good mates.
"Paz we all know through his butcher shop," Pinner said. "We have all become good friends either through football or through the entertainment industry.
"We have Angel Rose, who I own with Shaun (McManus), Tony (Buhagiar) and Craig Yeo, running in the La Trice Classic.
"I have been in business with Michael Brennan (dual West Coast premiership player) for 25 years."
Waller had Marden entered in the 2011 Melbourne Cup when he opened his Australian account with a strong win over 2000m at Rosehill on September 24, his third start for the trainer.
The son of Danehill Dancer has since won another three times, with his latest at Caulfield three weeks ago, when he held out a strong-finishing Canonized in a 2000m 84-rating handicap.
The six-year-old drew 16 but will jump from 14 with the withdrawal of the four emergencies.