FOLLOWING a record-breaking number of applications, the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) has announced that Hobart will join racing history when it plays host to the iconic 18-carat gold Lexus Melbourne Cup in 2019.
The Tasmanian capital was revealed as a tour destination at a special launch event in June at Flemington Racecourse, joining 38 other towns and cities across the globe that will be part of the 17th annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.
The VRC also officially announced the increase in prize money for the Lexus Melbourne Cup to $8 million, a record in the 158-year history of Australia’s greatest race.
Lenah Valley RSL president Ian Dobson said being part of the tour would be an “unforgettable experience.”
“Lenah Valley RSL is extremely excited to host the Lexus Melbourne Cup when it visits Tasmania in July,” he said.
“The visit will provide our community with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the iconic trophy, as well as Tasmania’s racing history.”
This year’s tour will feature an exciting new element, with 24 rural and regional destinations across Australia to be allocated a barrier for the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup.
Barriers will be drawn at random throughout the tour, and the town that draws the barrier of the Lexus Melbourne Cup-winning horse will be presented with a cash prize of $50,000 to be put towards a charity for a local community initiative.
VRC chairman Amanda Elliott said this year’s tour would celebrate the appeal of racing and the iconic Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy with more communities than ever before.
“Since the tour began in 2003, we have delighted in bringing communities together in the shared history and magic of the Melbourne Cup,” she said.
“This year is especially significant, with 2019 marking the 100th anniversary of the three-handled Melbourne Cup trophy design.
“We are also delighted to introduce the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep.
“This exciting initiative will add to the Cup Tour experience for communities across Australia.”
Since its beginning, the tour has travelled more than 600,000km and visited more than 450 regional, rural and metropolitan destinations.
It has provided communities with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the magic of the Melbourne Cup and hear the many stories connected with Australia’s greatest horse-race.
For more information about the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour, visit melbournecuptour.com.au.
Caption: Victoria Racing Club chairman Amanda Elliott with the Lexus Melbourne Cup.