The 220 day tour around the globe will include visits to 10 cities abroad and 32 stops in Australia before the “Loving Cup” arrives safely back home to Melbourne before the big race on Tuesday November 2.
The stunning 18ct gold trophy, which is worth $150,000 and took a staggering 250 hours to create, will have its first stop in Tokyo to meet up with connections of Delta Blues, the 2006 Melbourne Cup winner.
Champion jockey Damien Oliver, who was aboard the 2006 runner-up Pop Rock and who also has two Melbourne Cup winning rides of his own, will join the trophy in Tokyo as well.
The Japanese visit will be a huge affair as the 2006 quinella, Pop Rock also being from Japan, has remained a fond memory in the country.
Other stops inherently linked to the history of the Melbourne Cup and the great turf champions who have won it include a visit to Timaru where the legendary Phar Lap trained in New Zealand; South Australia’s Jamestown which is the birthplace of the “Cups King” Bart Cummings; and Nowra in New South Wales, the hometown of the inaugural Melbourne Cup winner Archer.
This year the Melbourne Cup trophy has been redesigned to model that of Phar Lap’s 1930 three-handled trophy.
After a send-off from Flemington on Tuesday the Cup will leave for Tokyo on Sunday.
Other tour destinations include Los Angeles, Dublin, Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai, all of which will raise interest and generate possible tourist dollars for the Victorian and Australian thoroughbred racing industries.
A line-up of the most infamous characters and racing greats will accompany the Cup on its world tour including 12-time winning trainer Bart Cummings, David Hayes, owner of 1999 Melbourne Cup winner Rogan Josh Wendy Green, Glenn Boss and the first female to train a Melbourne Cup winner Shelia Laxon.
The Cup is due to land back in Melbourne on October 25.