Destinations across the world are invited to share in the magic of the Lexus Melbourne Cup, with applications to host the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour officially open.
Now in its 18th year, the Tour has travelled more than 730,000 kilometres and visited more than 490 destinations, providing communities with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close with the Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy.
The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep will also return for a second year, with 24 rural and regional Cup Tour destinations across Australia to be allocated a barrier for the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup.
Barriers will be drawn at random throughout the Cup’s visit to communities on Tour and the town which draws the barrier of the Lexus Melbourne Cup-winning horse will be presented with a cash prize of $50,000 to put towards a charity for a local community initiative.
Bunyip in regional Victoria took home the $50,000 donation last year, after Vow and Declare stormed to victory in the 159th Lexus Melbourne Cup from barrier 21.
Bunyip local Brad Walker, who watched the race in the Flemington Mounting Yard on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, said the whole community has benefited from the initiative.
“It was just an extraordinary feeling when we knew we won. The whole experience has just been unbelievable. We are still so over the moon.
“We had the Bunyip State Park fires in March 2019 so receiving the donation has been extremely beneficial in uplifting the community and helping fund a number of much-needed community initiatives,” Mr Walker said.
Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Chief Executive Officer Neil Wilson said the Tour has become one of the most important initiatives of the Club.
“The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour gives us an opportunity to share the magic of the Cup with people all over Australia and internationally,” Mr Wilson said.
“We never dreamed that it would evolve into such a significant community event, which 17 years later, continues to grow in popularity.
“We are humbled by the excitement and joy the Cup brings people of all ages and backgrounds on Tour, and want to ensure that as many communities as possible can share in the magic of the People’s Cup this year.
“We are also thrilled to once again include the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep in this year’s Tour and look forward to supporting local community initiatives.”
Once selected as a Tour destination, communities will be supported by the VRC to plan and host a range of memorable community events during the Cup’s visit.
A stable of racing legends will accompany the Cup as Tour Ambassadors and share their unforgettable Melbourne Cup moments.
Applications can be made online at MelbourneCupTour.com.au up until Monday 6 April.
Successful 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour submissions will be announced in June, with the Tour officially commencing its journey in July.
The 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival begins at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday 31 October with AAMI Victoria Derby Day, followed by Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 3 November, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 5 November and Seppelt Wines Stakes Day on Saturday 7 November.