Paul Murray still remembers the day vividly.
Universal Prince, one of the contenders for the 2001 Melbourne Cup, scratched on the morning of the race after failing a contentious veterinary inspection.
It was a ruling that left father Bede Murray devastated. The late trainer was famously photographed later that afternoon watching the event from the Emerald Hotel in South Melbourne.
It may have been 20 years ago, but the incident remains an emotional moment.
"It's everyone's dream, it was dad's dream, to win a Melbourne Cup," Paul said.
"That weighed a lot on dad's mind, scratching the horse on the morning of the Melbourne Cup. His health after that wasn't too good.
"It's a thrill to be there, having a favourite is out of this world. It's the biggest race in Australia, the first Tuesday in November, I'll always remember that moment."
It's been an eventful 20 years since Universal Prince was scratched from the Melbourne Cup, the horse enjoying further Group 1 success in the 2002 Ranvet before retiring to stud after a disappointing spring campaign.
Bede passed away in 2016, with Paul and brother Graeme maintaining the family's rich history as Kembla Grange trainers.
Paul now views the incident as a prelude to the stringent veterinary processes now in place.
It's a situation that saw French import Gold Trip ruled out of last month's Cox Plate after failing an inspection, much to the disappointment of trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.
Murray shares their pain and feels the process can be improved to ensure horses aren't unjustly withdrawn from the biggest races.
"The stewards and vets have to go out and look at the horses more, instead of just before the race. They've got to get out in trackwork and have a look at their actions.
"Universal Prince had the worst action of all, even the vet said it was just the horse's action. Damien Oliver wanted to ride the horse. If something was wrong, he wouldn't put his life at risk.
"That's in the past now, it bloody hurt a lot, but we've just got to get on with life. Hopefully I'll find another one in the years to come."
It's early days, but Murray may have already found the horse that will return the family to the Melbourne Cup.
Promising three-year-old El Lago will contest a 1600-metres BenchMark 64 at Kembla Grange on Tuesday and the trainer has big plans for the year ahead.
"He'll be going straight to the paddock, win, lose or draw. He'll have a couple of weeks off and then we'll get him ready for the Karaka Millions in late January in New Zealand.
"I haven't ruled out leaving him in New Zealand for the derby in March. He's still six months away from being a nice horse, he could be a winter derby horse in Brisbane. He's going to mature into a very nice horse."
If everything goes to plan, El Lago might be more than just a nice horse. He could a Melbourne Cup horse.