The 2016 Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour officially broke out of the barriers today with the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) announcing that Melbourne will join nine Victorian destinations in hosting the annual Tour.
The announcement was held at Darren Weir’s stables in Ballarat, the heartland of the 2015 Emirates Melbourne Cup winning trainer.
The 2016 Tour will see the $175,000 trophy travel to 34 towns and cities across Australia and New Zealand, before returning to Flemington for the ‘race that stops a nation’™ on the first Tuesday in November.
The successful destinations, including Ballarat, Kyabram, Nagambie, Kilmore, Hamilton, Warrnambool, Wodonga, Geelong and Pakenham were selected for their passion for racing, historical links to the Melbourne Cup and dedication to the community.
Geelong National Wool Museum Director, Padraic Fisher, said being part of the Tour will be an unforgettable experience that will unite community members both young and old as they play host to Australia's most famous trophy.
“We are a cultural destination with a national presence and a local heart, and look forward to providing an opportunity for residents to come face to face with the Emirates Melbourne Cup whilst sharing the story of Geelong’s proud racing history,” Mr Fisher said.
Racing royalty joined the launch celebrations, including 2015 Emirates Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir and strapper Stevie Payne, 2015 Emirates Melbourne Cup winning horse Prince of Penzance and Flemington Ambassador Georgia Connolly.
For the first time the ‘People’s Cup’ has been manufactured using gold mined from West Wyalong in regional NSW, a destination of this year’s Tour, and the launch welcomed the Cup’s new manufacturer ABC Bullion to the Flemington family.
VRC Chief Executive, Mr Simon Love, said this year the Tour will celebrate a heightened enthusiasm for racing amongst community groups far and wide following Michelle Payne’s triumphant Emirates Melbourne Cup victory in 2015.
“Since the Tour began in 2003, we have delighted in bringing communities together in the shared history and magic of the Emirates Melbourne Cup and Michelle’s victory last year certainly adds another dimension to that narrative,” Mr Love said.
“Hearing the many tales, from triumphs to tears and everything in between, as people recount their own unique experiences of one of the world’s greatest sporting events is a joy for all involved.”
Since its inaugural year, the Tour has travelled more than 456,000 kilometres and visited more than 333 regional, rural and metropolitan destinations, providing communities with a once-in-a-life opportunity to experience firsthand the magic of the Emirates Melbourne Cup.
Visit melbournecuptour.com.au for more information.
||Streaky Bay, SA
||Roxby Downs, SA
||West Wyalong, NSW
||Tuncurry/Great Lakes, NSW
||Palmerston North, NZ
||Hawkes Bay, NZ
||Monto and Eidsvold, QLD
||Gold Coast, QLD
| September 11
|October 18 – October 31
||Emirates Melbourne Cup Day, VIC