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The Emirates Melbourne Cup has been the official name given to the world’s richest handicap race since Emirates, the largest Middle Eastern airline, signed a seven-year-old sponsorship deal with Racing Victoria back in 2004. From 2018 the iconic Melbourne Cup race will have a new sponsorship deal with Lexus.
That deal was subsequently extended and Emirates continue to sponsor the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), run as Flemington Race 7 on the first Tuesday of November annually on the third day of the iconic Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Emirates Airline has had a long relationship with horse racing, as the home of the airline is Dubai – arguably the capital of international horse racing. Emirates thus has a great appreciation for the best in horse racing, and the Melbourne Cup is a fantastic distance race that draws more eyes than most other horse races worldwide.
While the distance, conditions, location, race number, field size or date of the annual Melbourne Cup didn’t change following the sponsorship by Emirates, one thing that did alter was the Melbourne Cup prize money.
Initially the stakes were raised to just over $5 million, with the Melbourne Cup now worth in excess of $6.2 million in total prize money and trophies.
Known colloquially as the ‘race that stops a nation’, the Emirates Melbourne Cup is the headline race held in Australia each year and the generous money on offer ensures it attracts a top class field of both local and international stayers each spring.
- Race: Melbourne Cup
- Old Sponsor: Emirates Airlines (from 2004 – 2017)
- New Sponsor: Lexus (from 2018)
- Where: Flemington Racecourse, Victoria
- When: First Tuesday of November annually
- Status: Group 1
- Distance: 3200m
- Conditions: Quality Handicap