TWO-TIME AFL premiership coach Denis Pagan has pulled off the most unlikely sporting double, stunning the racing world on Saturday by training his first Group One winner in the Victoria Derby.
Pagan, who only began training horses in July, watched as Johnny Get Angry saluted at Flemington ahead of Hit the Shot and Young Werther to win the $2 million race.
It was just the second victory of his fledgling training career.
The 73-year-old, who guided North Melbourne to flags in 1996 and 1999, was left stunned, an emotional mess after apprentice jockey Lachie King guided his horse home.
"It was something special. I never in a million years thought it would happen and he's done it," Pagan said.
"You dream about it, that's all I've been thinking about the last two months. I just wanted to get him into the Derby and he's won it. It's just starting to sink in now, I can't believe it."
Johnny Get Angry started a $21 outsider.
Pagan said backing the young jockey, whose father Steven rode the Derby winner in 1991 and 2002, was not dissimilar to his AFL coaching career.
"It's happened a lot in footy," he said.
"I've stuck with young blokes before and they've come through and I'm so glad I did."
"It's happened a lot in footy, I've stuck with young blokes before, and they've come through and I'm so glad I did."— Racing.com (@Racing) October 31, 2020
What a sensational achievement for Denis Pagan. This is what it is all about. ????@FurphyBeer @FlemingtonVRC pic.twitter.com/o1KOEGxHJM