Canberra to host the Melbourne Cup tour

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) today announced that Canberra will join racing history when it plays host to the iconic 18-carat gold Lexus Melbourne Cup in 2018.

Canberra was revealed as a Tour destination at a special event in Richmond, Melbourne, joining 36 other cities and towns across the globe that will be part of the 16th annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour. 

Canberra Racing Club Business and Marketing Manager Briony Young said being part of the Tour will be an unforgettable experience.

“It is an ideal time for Canberra to once again host the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour, with the visit coinciding with our tab.com.au Tony Campbell Memorial Cup Day.

“With the day also incorporating Students Race Day, we look forward to bringing together local and regional racing identities and enthusiasts, and the younger generation of racing fans to be a part of this wonderful VRC initiative,” Ms Young said.

Champion jockeys and newly appointed Cup Tour Ambassadors Hugh Bowman and Michelle Payne joined Minister for Racing, the Hon. Martin Pakula MP, VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott, Flemington Ambassador Georgia Connolly and Lexus Ambassador Kate Waterhouse for the big announcement.

For the first time as part of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour, the iconic trophy will travel to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

This year marks 25 years since Irish stayer Vintage Crop became the first internationally trained horse to win Australia’s greatest race. To mark this historic milestone, the Cup will attend Irish Oaks Weekend at The Curragh.

As part of this English and Irish journey, the Cup will also visit Newmarket, the center of horseracing in the United Kingdom, which has a rich history and association with Melbourne Cup runners.

This year’s Tour will also celebrate its Australian roots, travelling across the nation to some of our most famous locations – the Birdsville Cup; the sandy shores of Mission Beach; and for the first time, the $200,000 trophy will travel across the Nullarbor Plain by train.

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said the global focus of this year’s Tour reflects the undisputed international profile of the Lexus Melbourne Cup. 

“The appeal of our illustrious race stretches far beyond Flemington. The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour gives us an important opportunity to share the magic of the Cup with people everywhere,” Mrs Elliott said. 

“The Tour has become one of the most important things we do at the VRC. We are custodians of something that means so much to so many – a day of national unity symbolised by the iconic three-handled Cup.”

On its return from Europe at the end of July, the Cup will travel across Australia, New Zealand, and for the first time, South Korea, before making its way back to Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.

Lexus Australia Chief Executive Scott Thompson said Lexus is thrilled to be a key partner in such an important VRC activity.

“The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour is a special event in its own right that perfectly befits the iconic and globally-significant Lexus Melbourne Cup.

“As the new naming rights sponsor, we are delighted to play our part in providing the opportunity for so many people both locally and abroad to experience this iconic trophy firsthand.”

Since its inaugural year in 2003, the Tour has travelled more than half a million kilometers and visited more than 400 regional, rural and metropolitan destinations, providing communities with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the magic of the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

For further information about the 2018 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour please visit melbournecuptour.com.au.