The Melbourne Cup Commences its Nation Wide Tour

The 2011 Melbourne Cup Trophy has begun its annual pilgrimage around Australia and New Zealand, with Darwin the first capital city in Australia to get a glimpse of the cup.

Melbourne Cup

The Melbourne Cup Trophy has embarked on its tour of Australia and New Zealand - photo courtesy © VRC

In anticipation of ‘the race that stops the nation’ every year the Victorian Racing Club (VRC) sends the Melbourne Cup trophy around Australasia so the public can share in the excitement and see one of Australia’s most sought after prizes.

The $175,000 trophy was taken to a number of primary schools in the Darwin region before doctors and patients at the Darwin hospital got a close up look at Australian racing’s most prestigious prize.

“The tour is growing in reach and appeal year on year, and the VRC continues to be overwhelmed with how each town embraces the Emirates Melbourne Cup tour,” said VRC representative Joe McGrath.

“Through the tour we hope to unite communities in a celebration of the 150 year history associated with the Melbourne Cup, an event which has shaped the sporting, social and cultural fabric of Australia.”

Former Melbourne Cup winning trainer Sheila Laxon has been appointed a tour ambassador and will accompany the trophy on its epic journey.

As well as visiting the capital cities in Australia and New Zealand, the 2011 Melbourne Cup tour will also take in a number of smaller towns on its 115 day journey.

The trophy will head to Nhulunbuy after it leaves Darwin, before taking in bush towns such as Tara and Toowoomba in Queensland, Cudal ad Cootamundra in New South Wales and William Creek in South Australia. It will also visit both the North and South Islands of New Zealand before it arrives back in Victoria at the start of October.

The trophy will then travel around Victoria for three weeks until it arrives back at Flemington on October 24, before a solid week of celebration leading into the 2011 Melbourne Cup.

Since its inception in 2003, the Melbourne Cup Trophy Tour has travelled more than 227,000 kilometres and visited more than 180 different locations in Australia and New Zealand.

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