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It is the ‘race that stops a nation’ and now the trophy that visits a nation will begin its national tour with the 2012 Melbourne Cup trophy to stop in at 26 individual destinations ahead of the Melbourne Cup Carnival this spring.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour has officially been announced by the Victoria Racing Club with local destinations to be visited by the ‘Loving Trophy’ over its three-month journey around Australasia including Bairnsdale, Winchelsea, Echuca, Skipton and Healesville.
In support of grassroots racing the annual Melbourne Cup tour brings publicity and an influx of visitors to some of country’s smaller towns, something the VRC is committed to continue according to Chairman Michael Burn.
“Continuing to grow in appeal annually and reaching the Tour’s tenth year is a significant milestone,” Burn said.
“It’s a testament to the program and reinforces that the appeal of the illustrious race stretches far beyond Flemington Racecourse.
“After visiting more than 210 towns and travelling more than 285,000 kilometres to engage hundreds of thousands of people since its inception in 2003, the VRC is proud to claim the Cup as the world’s most travelled sporting trophy.”
Kicking off next month the Tour will begin in Tennant Creek and Darwin in the Northern Territory, paying homage to the country’s heartland.
Next on the agenda is Western Australia where Geraldton, Lacelin and Perth have all been selected to receive a stopover from the country’s most famous racing prize.
In New South Wales a vast visit is on the cards with Muswellbrook to host the Cup in August to coincide with the club’s 150th anniversary.
Other New South Wales towns in line for a visit include Newcastle, Wyong, Gulargambone, Nyngan and of course Sydney.
Later in August Queensland will get their turn with the state’s capital of Brisbane the first in line before it travels up the coast to Gympie, Noosa and then the tropical Cairns.
The Trophy then crosses the Tasman for its annual appearance in New Zealand where a trip to Auckland will be followed up by a festive celebration at the North Island’s Dargaville.
The Apple Isle hasn’t been forgotten either with Tasmania receiving a call in October in honour of the 1972 Melbourne Cup winner Piping Lane’s 40th anniversary.
A late move to South Australia follows before the Cup embarks on its culminating leg in Victoria.
“It was a competitive pool of tenders and we congratulate the 26 successful destinations for their Efforts,” Burn said.
“We look forward to sharing the magical trophy with communities when we take to the road in July.”
This year will mark the 152nd edition of the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), the famous Flemington two mile handicap running on Tuesday November 6, 2012.
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