To mark the 150th running of the Melbourne Cup, The Victorian Racing Club are conducting a 220-date global tour, showcasing the trophy.
The 18 carat gold Emirate Melbourne Cup Trophy – valued at $125,000 – was proudly on display at the Hyatt Regency Hotel last Thursday, with exclusive guests told of the historic legacy of the running of the Melbourne Cup in Australian culture.
Sue Lloyd-Williams, deputy chief executive of the Victoria Racing Club, is travelling with the Cup on a 220-day global tour, seeking to elevate an already peerless racing occasion to still greater awareness.
She said the Cup is visiting cities with intrinsic links to the race – with the tour to acknowledge that the Melbourne Cup had developed into an envoy to promote bilateral trade, investment and tourism opportunities between Melbourne and the World.
She encouraged people to join the celebrations by travelling to Melbourne for one of the biggest events the city will experience.
Speaking about the chance to tour the trophy and celebrate the anniversary, VRC Chairman Rod Fitzroy said it highlights the rich history of the race and celebrates the role it has played in the lives of Australians since its first running in 1861.
He hopes it will appropriately acknowledge the significance of the Cup to Australian culture.
“For almost 150 years, the Melbourne Cup has remained a constant in an ever changing world…The countless triumphs and tragedies that are synonymous with the running to the Cup each year now form part of our national identity,” he said.
“It [is] a celebration which is intrinsically linked with the past, present and our future, which acknowledges the heroic tales, epic battles and significant interweaving of the sport with the social fabric of communities throughout Australia, across the Tasman and around the globe.”
To commemorate the 150th running of the Melbourne Cup, Mr Fitzroy announced earlier in the year that the 2010 Emirates Melbourne Cup would receive a substantial boost in prize money, a move made possible through the partnership of the VRC and its Emirates.
“The VRC is pleased to announce that the 2010 Emirates Melbourne Cup prizemoney will be elevated to $6 million, an increase of $500,000,” said Mr Fitzroy.
“This will see the Emirates Melbourne Cup retain its position as the richest handicap race and the most iconic ‘two-mile’ race in the world, and ensure its impact continues to be felt around the globe.”
Mr Fitzroy also announced that the 2010 Emirates Melbourne Cup trophy would return to the design zenith, of the illustrious 1930 Cup won by the legendary Phar Lap.
The 150th Melbourne Cup is on November 2.
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2009 Melbourne Cup results