Murray Bridge will join racing history when it plays host to the 18-carat gold Emirates Melbourne Cup on September 10 this year.
Murray Bridge, selected for its passion for racing and community spirit, was revealed as a Tour destination at a special event at 2016 Emirates Melbourne Cup winning owner Lloyd Williams’ training facilities at Mount Macedon, Victoria.
Murray Bridge will join 30 other cities and towns across Australia and New Zealand.
John Buhagiar, Manager of Murray Bridge Racing Club, said they were thrilled to be part of the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour which would provide the community with the opportunity to come together and experience the magic that is the Melbourne Cup.
“We’re excited to be see the People’s Cup return to Murray Bridge. The Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour is such a popular event in our community that unites locals and lets them be a part of Australian history.”
Racing royalty joined the celebrations, including five-time Melbourne Cup winning owner Mr Williams, 2016 Emirates Melbourne Cup winning horse Alamandin, 2007 Emirates Melbourne Cup winning horse Efficient and Flemington Ambassador Georgia Connolly.
Commencing on July 1, the $200,000 trophy will visit 31 destinations across Australia and New Zealand, starting in West Wyalong in regional NSW, where the gold used by ABC Bullion to make the trophy is mined, before returning to Flemington for ‘The ‘Race That Stops A Nation’™ on the first Tuesday in November.
VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said the Cup is an Australian cultural icon so it’s only fitting that the trophy and its rich history is taken on a journey to meet the people.
“The Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour celebrates the stories intrinsically linked to the Cup and its contribution to Australia’s cultural and historical heritage,” Mrs Elliott said.
“Since the Tour began in 2003, we have delighted in bringing communities together in the shared history and magic of this extraordinary phenomenon.
“We are looking forward to sharing this passion, both here and across the Tasman, as we travel to places as diverse as Roebourne to Rockhampton and Mudgee to Murray Bridge.
“In an exciting journey, the Cup will also travel by train on The Ghan from Adelaide to Alice Springs taking the trophy to Australia’s red centre.”
Mr Williams said he was delighted for Macedon Lodge to be the launching pad for the 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour.