The 18-carat gold Melbourne Cup could be making its way to a town near you as the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour celebrates its 15th year.
The cup is set to visit more than 30 destinations in its annual trek across Australia and New Zealand in 2017, adding to the 456,000 kilometers it has already travelled to rural, regional and metropolitan communities since 2003.
In order to ensure the South Australian community have an opportunity to secure a visit, the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) will open the tender process early, with submissions now being accepted.
“The VRC created the concept of the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour with the aim to provide communities without easy geographical access to the Melbourne Cup an opportunity to experience the magic of the trophy first-hand,” said VRC Chief Executive Simon Love.
“We are humbled by the pleasure the Cup provides to people of all ages, and want to ensure that as many communities as possible share the same unique opportunity again this year,” said Mr Love.
Past racing legends also accompany the Cup each year on its epic journey to recount some of the remarkable stories intrinsically linked to the ‘race that stops a nation™’.
While the winner of the first Melbourne Cup in 1861 received a gold watch, today’s three handled ‘loving cup’ is made from 44 pieces of hand-beaten gold sourced from West Wyalong in NSW, and crafted over 200 hours by ABC Bullion.
Last year the Tour stopped off to visit the gold mine, creating a memorable encounter for residents of the Bland Shire Council.
The 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour welcomes submissions from community groups, councils and racing bodies in rural and regional areas as well as capital cities, with successful destinations to be announced in June.
Each host destination selected makes a commitment to provide memorable and engaging community events involving the Cup for everyone to enjoy, with local fundraising initiatives also to be supported.
The Tour officially commences in July 2017, before the Cup returns to Melbourne for the running of the 157th Emirates Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday in November.
Tenders to be submitted at melbournecuptour.com.au by 5pm (AEST) on Monday 3 April.