The Lexus Melbourne Cup has officially commenced its tour of the United Kingdom, arriving in York on Monday in what is the first overseas leg of the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.
Travelling with its very own passport, the first stop on the globetrotting tour was a visit to York Racecourse, where the Cup was welcomed by some of York’s most recognisable residents – Yorkshire Terriers Saffy, Ely, Tootsie and Angie.
The coveted trophy also stopped by the picturesque stables of Yorkshire trainer Richard Fahey and visited the HMS Endeavour replica in nearby Whitby in an action packed first day on tour.
The pit stop at York Racecourse was a fitting start to the Cup’s tour of the historic English town, which will see the coveted trophy attend the famous Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.
The iconic race meeting runs from Wednesday 21 August until Saturday 24 August and features the running of the AUD$1.79 million Ebor Handicap (2800m), which has built a reputation as an important international pathway to the AUD$8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Melbourne Cup, picture VRC
The visit comes as the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) and York Racecourse celebrate their close ties with a new alliance which will see the winning connections of the Ebor Handicap receive a once-in-a-lifetime experience for two to the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The 18-carat gold trophy will attend each day of the festival and catch up with some of the biggest names in racing, including 2018 Lexus Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Charlie Appleby, champion jockey and international superstar Frankie Dettori and trainer of last year’s second runner-up Charlie Fellowes, who has declared his intention to compete once again in this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup with Prince of Arran.
While on tour, the People’s Cup will also take in the sights of the scenic UK countryside, stop by the small village of Melbourne and catch up with some of the Australian Men’s Cricket team players down the road at Headingley ahead of their 3rd Ashes Test against England.
VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said the Club was delighted to be visiting York as part of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.
“The appeal of our illustrious race stretches far beyond Flemington, and the Tour gives us an important opportunity to share the magic of the Cup with people everywhere.
“The Melbourne Cup Carnival and the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival are both icons of world racing and we are thrilled to be visiting York as part of this year’s Tour.
“Four of the past five Ebor Handicap winners have gone on to run with tremendous credit in the Cup and we hope to see that continue with the 2019 winner at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November,” Mrs Elliott said.
Since its beginning, the Tour has travelled more than 600,000 kilometres and visited more than 450 regional, rural and metropolitan destinations. It provides communities an important opportunity not just to experience magic of the Melbourne Cup and hear the many stories connected with Australia’s greatest horse-race, but also to raise much needed funds for local causes.