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Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour 2018

For the first time as part of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour, the iconic trophy will travel to the United Kingdom and Ireland. The European journey will make up seven of 37 destinations that will join
racing history when they play host to the 16th annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour in 2018.

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 horse racing in the United Kingdom, which has a rich history and association with Melbourne Cup runners. The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour will also journey to Seoul for the first time, where it will celebrate the Korean Cup. The Korean Racing Authority submitted a successful application to host the Tour, with ambitions to one day hold a race as prestigious and culturally significant as the race that stops a nation.

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. The successful destinations were announced in Richmond, Melbourne, where students from Saint Margaret’s Primary School, Maribyrnong participated in a mock barrier draw to reveal each destination.

Champion jockeys and newly appointed Cup Tour Ambassadors Hugh Bowman and Michelle Payne joined Consul-General of the Republic of Korea in Melbourne, Mr Sunghyo Kim; Minister for Racing, the Hon. Martin Pakula MP; Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Chairman Amanda Elliott; Flemington Ambassador Georgia Connolly and Lexus Ambassador Kate Waterhouse for the big announcement.

Mrs 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 kilometres 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

 New South Wales – Sydney, Louth, Bega, Dunedoo
 Western Australia – Perth, Boyup Brook
 New Zealand – Auckland
 Northern Territory – Darwin, Katherine
 Australian Capital Territory – Canberra
 Queensland – Brisbane, Mount Perry, Mission Beach, Gold Coast, Goondiwindi, Birdsville
 South Australia – Adelaide, Mount Barker
 Tasmania – Hobart
 Victoria – Melbourne, Nagambie, Shepparton, Skipton, Wodonga, Portland, Camperdown, Stawell, Wangaratta, Goornong
 United Kingdom – London, Newbury, Somerset, Newmarket
 Ireland – County Kildare, Closutton, Owning Hill
 South Korea – Seoul



Date Destination
July 10 London, UK
July 11- 14 Newmarket, Suffolk, UK
July 15 Bridgewater, Somerset, UK
July 16 Burghclere, Newbury, UK
July 18 The Curragh, Co Kildare, IRE
July 19 Closutton, Co Carlow, IRE
July 20 Owning Hill, Co Kilkenny IRE
July 21 – 22 The Curragh, Co Kildare, IRE
July 26 – 28 Auckland, NZ
August 1 Melbourne, VIC
August 3 Shepparton, VIC
August 4 Nagambie, VIC
August 7 Melbourne, VIC
August 10 – 11 Louth, NSW
August 16 Darwin, NT
August 17 – 18 Katherine, NT
August 23 Perth, WA
August 24 Boyup Brook, WA
August 26 – 29 Perth – Sydney

(Indian Pacific train)

August 30 Sydney, NSW
August 31 – September 2 Birdsville, QLD
September 4 Dunedoo, NSW
September 5 Melbourne, VIC
September 8 – 9 Seoul, KOR
September 13 Mission Beach, QLD
September 14 – 15 Mount Perry, QLD
September 18 Melbourne, VIC
September 20 – 21 Goondiwindi, QLD
September 22 Gold Coast, QLD
September 23 Brisbane, QLD
September 25 Sydney, NSW
September 27 – 28 Bega, NSW
October 2 – 3 Hobart, TAS
October 4 Melbourne, VIC
October 5 Canberra, ACT
October 8 – 9 Adelaide, SA
October 10 Mount Barker, SA
October 12 Melbourne, VIC
October 13 Camperdown, VIC
October 15 Portland, VIC
October 18 Wangaratta, VIC
October 20 Wodonga, VIC
October 23 Skipton, VIC
October 24 Stawell, VIC
October 25 Goornong, VIC
October 26 – 31 Melbourne, VIC
November 1 – 2 Melbourne, VIC
November 3 AAMI Victoria Derby Day
November 4 – 5 Melbourne, VIC
November 6 Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, VIC


Pictures from the launch.




























Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour lands in London for global adventure

The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour has officially landed in London ahead of its historic journey across the United Kingdom and Ireland. The European expedition will make up seven of 37 destinations selected to host the 16thannual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

Travelling with its very own passport, the first stop on the globetrotting Tour was a visit to the bustling Covent Garden studio of famed British milliner Stephen Jones OBE.

A Melbourne Cup Carnival regular, Jones reflected on his illustrious career designing headwear for some of the world’s most famous stars. This includes Jones’ iconic My Fair Lady-inspired design for Nicole Kidman’s 2012 AAMI Victoria Derby Day appearance.

Jones said the Melbourne Cup Carnival was one of the most significant events on the calendar for millinery fashion and it is only fitting for London to be the first stop on the Tour.

“Going to Flemington is always an adventure, whether I’m going by car or train, it’s fantastic and I love seeing everybody first thing in the morning really dressed up and having a glass of champagne before 11 o’clock,” Mr Jones said.

“I’m really excited to have the Cup come to London first of all and so it should because I think it’s such a unique bond between Britain and Australia.”

The London stop is just the beginning of a remarkable maiden journey around the United Kingdom and Ireland for the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

The $200,000 trophy will be in Newmarket from 11 July – 14 July as the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) reflects on the rich history of horse racing in the town as well as previous UK runners in the Cup.

The ‘People’s Cup’ will attend the famed July Festival at Newmarket, where VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott will present the 2016 and 2017 Melbourne Cup breeders’ trophies to connections of Almandin and Rekindling.

Following the visit to Newmarket, the Cup will travel to Kingsclere Stables to catch up with trainer Andrew Balding and preview his prospective runners for this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup.

The final stop in the United Kingdom will be 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 Melbourne Cup hero.

The 18-carat gold trophy will then cross the Irish Sea and travel to The Curragh. Here it will pay a sentimental visit to the Irish National Stud, where 1993 Melbourne Cup winner Vintage Crop lived a long and happy retirement.

This year’s 158th edition of the Lexus Melbourne Cup will mark 25 years since the Irish-trained stayer produced a runaway victory and internationalised Australia’s greatest race.

In celebration of the internationalisation of the Melbourne Cup, the Tour will also visit Rosewell House stables, where Vintage Crop was trained by Ireland’s pioneering horseman Dermot Weld. Weld will be joined by Vintage Crop’s rider Michael Kinane to reflect on the significance of the Cup victory and how it changed their lives.

The last stop of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour’s European adventure will be attending Irish Oaks Weekend at The Curragh racecourse, where the VRC will have a reciprocal race on Sunday 22 July.















Dermot Weld welcomes Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy

The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour has continued its memorable journey around the United Kingdom and Ireland, with the iconic trophy dropping into Dermot Weld’s Rosewell House stables at The Curragh.

This year the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) will celebrate 25 years since Weld broke new ground when Irish galloper Vintage Crop become the first internationally-trained horse to win the Melbourne Cup in 1993. The victory sparked the beginning of a host of overseas raiders making the journey to Flemington in quest to win one of racing’s main crowns.

Since Vintage Crop’s win, only six internationally-trained horses have won the Melbourne Cup, including the Weld-trained Media Puzzle in 2002.

As part of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour visit, VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott observed Weld at work at his Rosewell House stables where the master trainer prepares a quality team of horses. The famed Irish trainer was also joined by Vintage Crop’s regular rider Michael Kinane, and the two reflected on the significance of Vintage Crop’s win.

“Australia is very special to me, it always has been and it always will be. I’ve been fortunate to win two Melbourne Cups so it makes it extra special,” Weld said. “We were one of the pioneers, winning Group 1 races around the world before it came fashionable. The adventure, the travel – that never daunted me. I had to wait for the right horse to do it and I knew that Vintage Crop was the horse that could possibly do it.”

Mrs Elliott said it was only fitting for the VRC to take this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup to the men responsible for changing the history of the race. “Today was an absolutely spectacular day. Their recall of that day in 1993 and what it meant to them gave me shivers,” Mrs Elliott said. “When I asked Dermot what he felt when Vintage Crop crossed the line and he knew he’d won, he said it was utter content because he had longed to win the race.”

Following the stop at Rosewell House, Kinane and the Lexus Melbourne Cup ventured to the Irish National Stud where Vintage Crop lived a long and happy retirement.

“I was here on numerous occasions with him. He was very happy here and it was a lovely retirement home for him,” Kinane said.

Kinane said the 1993 win was one of the highlights of his career and it was amazing to see the 2018 Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy. “It was a fantastic memory, a great achievement. It seems like yesterday but time is suddenly telling us it’s 25 years. I can still feel it,” Kinane said.

The last stop of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour’s European adventure will be attending Irish Oaks Weekend at The Curragh racecourse, where the VRC will have a reciprocal race on Sunday 22 July.

















Lexus Melbourne Cup magic hits Sydney

Sydneysiders recently got their chance to experience the allure of the $200,000 Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy when it hit Martin Place. Having completed its four-day journey across the Nullarbor from Perth to Sydney, the 2018 trophy visited Martin Place as part of the 16th annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

The day began with Lexus Ambassador Kate Waterhouse and VRC Ambassador Georgia Connolly entering Martin Place on horseback. Joining the glamorous duo was dual Melbourne Cup-winning jockey John Letts.

Members of the public also had the opportunity to get up close with the 18-carat gold trophy and have their photo taken with Lofty the Clydesdale and Aussie the Clerk of the Course horse.

VRC Ambassador Georgia Connolly said it was wonderful to share the People’s Cup with the Sydney community. “The Lexus Melbourne Cup holds a special place in many people’s hearts and it was fantastic to take the iconic trophy to Martin Place and share it with the people.”

The Tour heads to outback Queensland, where it will attend the iconic Birdsville Races. Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour Ambassador and dual Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Jim Cassidy will join the fun, with the 1993 and 1997-winning jockey set to ride into the Birdsville Mounting Yard with the Lexus Melbourne Cup ahead of race 1 on Saturday 1st September.

Sports broadcaster Hamish McLachlan will also accompany the Cup on its Queensland expedition. The Channel 7 personality has a strong connection to the Melbourne Cup, with his great great-grandfather winning the 1931 Melbourne Cup with White Nose, defeating 1930 champion Phar Lap.

The 2018 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour began its four-month journey in London in July, making its way across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Since then, the ‘People’s Cup’ has visited towns and communities in New Zealand, Shepparton, Nagambie, Louth, Darwin, Katherine, Perth, Boyup Brook and Sydney.

Since its inaugural year in 2003, the Tour has travelled more than half a million kilometres 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.

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