Katelyn Mallyon ditched a modeling contract to fulfill her dream of riding in the Melbourne Cup, and even a near-fatal fall couldn’t deter her from making it there.
On Tuesday she aims to make history as the second woman in as many years to win the iconic race.
"It's been an amazing, amazing journey, and I never thought that 22 years old that I'd be having my first ride in the Melbourne Cup."
"It's amazing that Michelle won it last year, and I'd love to follow in her footsteps and win it this year and yeah it will be amazing if I could for the second- second girl, female to win the Melbourne Cup, it would be extraordinary."
Last year, the nation cheered loudly as Michelle Payne rode her 100-1 outsider to an unexpected and extraordinary Melbourne Cup victory.
Katelyn and Michelle train together under the guidance of millionaire thoroughbred owner Lloyd Williams.
"Michelle took me under her wing when I was just starting as a 16 year old girl and yeah she's been amazing.
"I love the horses and I've practically, from when I was born, had this affinity with them. I can't remember not ever wanting to be you know a jockey."
On Tuesday, Katelyn will take the saddle on Lloyd Williams' 6 year-old gelding Assign.
"He's so determined," Katelyn said of her Melbourne Cup ride.
"He pins his ears back and he's so tough and I just think that over the two mile he's just going to be so strong and you can't ask much more from him.
"He's an amazing animal. He's got a massive stride and yeah he's an absolute gentleman too, so I absolutely love him."
Lloyd Williams has come to learn that female jockeys have a lot to offer in the male-dominated sport.
"They’re equally as good as any of the boys that you want to mention to me so I’m happy to have these young ladies riding for me anytime at all."
Also in Katelyn’s corner is her proud grandfather Mick, a champion jockey who won three Caulfield Cups in the 1960s and 1970s.
"She is a bonsa girl. Katie has just got racing all over her, she lives and breathes for the racehorse and ah she is ah, she is a good little rider."
Katelyn began riding at age 4 and has more than 300 wins to her name already, but aged 18, her career nearly came to an end.
Katelyn was on the home straight at Flemington when her ride clipped the heels of the horse in front while her loved one watched on in horror.
She was thrown head-first into the ground, shattering her cheek bone, lacerating her spleen and breaking her T6 vertebra. It was millimeters from rupturing her spinal cord, which would have left her paralysed.
"I can't remember that whole- that whole week. You know I fell and I broke my back and my face and I was- I was put into a coma for four days. I really. It's just a bit of a blank to me."
"It obviously wasn't a great day for me and my family and everyone that was on course that got to witness it … I'm just glad that I've come out of it better than ever."
Seven racing host Francesca Cumani believes that Katelyn Mallyon is part of a new generation of females that could dominate the sport.
"I think there are more and more female riders riding now, coming up through the ranks we're going to see more and more in the future. Katelyn's a great proponent of the sport and she's really leading the way for a lot of other female jockeys," Cumani said.
"You know it's quite funny, when you look at the horses as well, if you think of the last ten years, the best horses have been Makybe Diva, Black caviar and Winx... all females."
Kately has an agoinsing wait for her chance at glory, but says the experience alone will be a dream come true.
"It would mean the world to me. You know, I've dreamed of this my whole entire life….To be riding in the Melbourne Cup."