PROGRESS at Punters Paradise is galloping ahead faster than Black Caviar.
What started as a wish to recreate the social experience of being trackside on the World Wide Web has transformed into an international success in just five years.
The Maroochydore-based business runs a collection of more than 50 different websites that attract more than 10,000 active users.
Managing director Luc Pettett said Punters Paradise was now the world's largest social network for horse racing.
It allows people to go online to interact with friends by writing messages on their wall like Facebook, receive news feeds and trade tips.
The latest Nelson report shows Punters Paradise is the second largest non-betting website and their form guide app made it to number two on the Appstore earlier this month.
But Mr Pettett is not one to rest on his laurels.
His team of five Coast-based IT specialists and freelancers from around the world are working to expand operations into the UK by the end of the year.
On top of that, they have recently acquired a rugby league website and are looking to branch out into other sporting arenas.
But first things first, the team have to brace themselves for the onslaught of the Spring racing season and in particular the Melbourne Cup, which is just a few weeks away.
"We are pretty proud of our regular traffic, but come Melbourne Cup day, we get a month's worth of traffic coming through in just two hours," he said.
"We get more unique people through our website than the 110,000 people who turn up at Flemington.
"Last year we had 180,000 in just two hours and we are aiming for quarter of a million this year."
Mr Pettett said the secret behind such amazing expansion was to get the formula right in a niche area, in this case Australian horse racing, before branching out.
"I suppose if I were to look at the website now I would be overwhelmed to think I could create that," he said.
"I am passionate about racing and software and a side effect of that means the money just comes in. When you focus on your passion, it comes across to advertisers and our clients and they want to be part of that."
Keeping abreast with technology has always been a key focus for Mr Pettett and the popularity of smart phone apps is the latest territory he has conquered.
"We are trying to tap into the younger audience through social networking and the latest technology in software development and form guides are notoriously hard to present nicely," he said.
It took five years to establish 15,000 registered users of the website. The form guide app achieved that in just six months.