The VRC to celebrate historic milestone in Australia’s greatest race
In an historic year for the Victoria Racing Club (VRC), the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour will travel to Ireland and the UK this July to celebrate the internationalisation of Australia’s greatest race.
This year’s 158th edition of the Cup will mark 25 years since Irish-trained stayer Vintage Crop produced a runaway victory in the 1993 Melbourne Cup for owner Sir Michael Smurfit KBE, trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Michael Kinnane. While on tour, the trophy will pay a sentimental visit to the Irish National Stud, where Vintage Crop used to reside. It will also visit the stables of Weld, where he will be joined by Kinane to reflect on the significance of their Cup win and how it changed their lives.
VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said the Club is thrilled to take the $200,000 trophy to the UK and Ireland as excitement builds for another unforgettable Cup week. “It is only fitting that the Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy travels to Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of the internationalisation of the Cup and acknowledge the enormous contribution of the global racing community to our great race,” Mrs Elliott said. “The appeal of our illustrious race stretches far beyond Flemington. As its custodians, the VRC is so proud to be sharing it with people across the world as part of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.”
The trip will also pay homage to all international horses, jockeys, owners, breeders and trainers have shaped horse racing’s most cherished prize, as well as connecting with possible contenders for this year’s $7.3 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) including Magic Circle, Red Verdon and Marmelo.
The Tour will make a stop at the famed July Festival at Newmarket, where Mrs Elliott will present the 2016 and 2017 Melbourne Cup breeder’s trophy to connections of Almandin and Rekindling.
Upon its return from Ireland, the ‘People’s Cup’ will travel to destinations across Australia, New Zealand and for the first time, South Korea. The four-month journey will conclude at Flemington on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, where a host of international and local champion horses, jockeys and trainers will attempt to take home one of the greatest crowns in international racing.
2018 LEXUS MELBOURNE CUP TOUR – UK AND IRELAND DESTINATIONS
|London, UK||July 10||The Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy will visit renowned milliner Stephen Jones at his London studio to gain his perspective on millinery and its influence on racing, particularly at the world’s major racing carnivals such as the Melbourne Cup Carnival and Royal Ascot.
|Newmarket, Suffolk, UK||July 11||The trophy will visit Jane Chapple-Hyam’s training yards in Newmarket. Chapple-Hyam has forged a distinguished career in racing and has a strong connection to the Melbourne Cup as the daughter of Lady Susan Renouf, co-owner of 1980 Melbourne Cup winner Beldale Ball.
The trophy will then venture to the Newmarket Academy for a presentation with school students.
|July 12||The Cup will stop in at Ed Dunlop’s La Grange stables. Dunlop will reflect on his own experiences with the ‘race that stops a nation’™ including the tremendous achievements of Red Cadeaux. Dunlop will also speak about his chances in this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup with Red Verdon.|
|July 13||The ‘People’s Cup’ will be showcased at Great Britain’s National Heritage Centre of Horseracing and Sporting Art for a public viewing.|
|July 14||On the morning of July 14, the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour will stop in at The National Stud, where guests can share in the magic of the Cup. The stop will also incorporate a catch up with Ed Dunlop’s former globetrotting galloper and 2015 Melbourne Cup runner-up Trip to Paris, who is enjoying retirement at The National Stud.
The Cup will proceed to July Cup Day, where it will be involved in the festivities of one of Newmarket’s favourite racing events. Of importance will be the presentation of the 2016 and 2017 Melbourne Cup breeders’ trophies to connections of Almandin and Rekindling.
|Birmingham, UK||July 15||The Cup stops by Ian Williams’ stables in Birmingham to meet with 2018 Cup hopeful Magic Circle and his owner Marwan Koukash. Koukash is no stranger to competing in Australia’s greatest race, with his gelding Mount Athos competing in both 2012 and 2013.
|Newbury, UK||July 16||As part of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour, the 18-carat gold trophy will visit Andrew Balding’s Kingsclere Stables in Newbury. Alongside Balding will be Highclere’s Harry Herbert, world champion jockey Ryan Moore, Her Majesty the Queen’s Bloodstock and Racing Advisor John Warren.
Balding will also preview some of his hopes for the 2018 Lexus Melbourne Cup.
|Bridgewater, Somerset, UK||July 16||The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour will stop by Stringston Farm, the birthplace of Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling. The Pocock family will open up their gates to showcase the humble beginnings of the 2017 Cup hero, where his dam Sitara and other close relations still reside.
|Newbury, UK||July 17||Trainer Hughie Morrison will welcome the Cup to his stables in Newbury, where Lexus Melbourne Cup hopeful Marmelo trains.
Marmelo competed admirably in the 2017 Melbourne Cup, and Morrison has indicated that a return to Flemington is on the cards for Marmelo following his win in the recent Grand Cup at York.
|The Curragh, Co Kildare, IRE||July 18||On July 18 the Cup and VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott will pay a sentimental visit to Dermot Weld’s Rosewell House Stables at The Curragh, where Weld will reminisce about Vintage Crop’s historic win in the 1993 Melbourne Cup.
The Cup will then stop in at the Irish National Stud where Vintage Crop lived out a long and happy retirement.
|Closutton, County Carlow, IRE||July 19||Willie Mullins will host the Lexus Melbourne Cup at his Closutton base on July 19 to preview his potential 2018 Lexus Melbourne Cup runners and reflect on his fortunes in Melbourne Cups gone by.|
|The Curragh, Co Kildare, IRE||July 21||The Curragh’s Darley Irish Oaks meeting will be the scene for the Cup’s visit on Saturday 21 July.
|July 22||The VRC will celebrate a reciprocal race on Sunday 22 July at The Curragh as it rounds out a memorable first trip to the United Kingdom and Ireland as part of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.
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