Runners during the 2018 The Andrew Ramsden Race

VRC's Golden Ticket into the Lexus Melbourne Cup on offer this Saturday on National Jockeys Trust Race Day

Lexus Melbourne Cup hopefuls will face off at Flemington this Saturday for a shot at securing their place in ‘the race that stops a nation’™.

For the first time in the history of the race, The Andrew Ramsden over 2800m is worth $400,000 and offers the winner direct entry into the $7.3 million Lexus Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday in November this year.

Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Executive General Manager Racing Leigh Jordon said the race, open to three, four and five-year-olds, had received interest from many connections including a great representation from Flemington-based trainers.

“National Jockeys Trust Race Day has attracted 148 acceptances, the largest number of acceptances outside of the Melbourne Cup Carnival in four years at Flemington. The Andrew Ramsden features 18 quality horses from Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and New Zealand,” Mr Jordon said.

“And the VRC is thrilled with today’s acceptances which include Steel Prince who is unbeaten in four starts for Anthony Freedman, plus Adelaide Cup winner Surprise Baby and the Lindsay Park-trained import Alfarris.

“We introduced The Andrew Ramsden as a fifth ballot exempt race to give the winner the opportunity to tailor a program towards the Lexus Melbourne Cup and I can’t wait to see these progressive stayers compete for the golden ticket.”

National Jockeys Trust Race Day celebrates the achievements of current and former jockeys, as well as commemorating those jockeys who have lost their lives while riding. It aims to increase awareness for the Trust as well as raise vital funds for the inaugural TAB National Jockeys Trust Appeal.

The appeal begins on Friday and is held across two days, with the public encouraged to donate to collectors on course this Saturday or via the National Jockeys Trust website.

Since its launch in 2004, the National Jockeys Trust has provided over $3.7 million in financial assistance to approximately 290 jockeys and their families.

Mr Jordon said the day holds special significance for everyone in racing.

“National Jockeys Trust Race Day allows racegoers and racing participants to acknowledge the skill and dedication of riders all over the country,” Mr Jordon said.

“The VRC is proud to support the incredible work of the National Jockeys Trust in providing assistance to jockeys and their families in times of need.”

This is the first time the National Jockeys Trust Race Day has been held at Flemington and as part of the day, TAB will be donating 2% of turnover on all bets placed on the tote before 1:30pm to the TAB National Jockeys Trust Appeal.

For more information on National Jockeys Trust Race Day or to purchase tickets click here.