Community groups and racing bodies across Gippsland have the chance to host the coveted Melbourne Cup trophy with applications for the 2016 Melbourne Cup Tour now open.
Member for Morwell Russell Northe said the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) was encouraging towns, no matter how small, to apply for the opportunity.
“The Melbourne Cup tour provides regional towns with a great chance to feel as though they are part of ‘the race that stops the nation’ and host a number of events that the community can get excited about in the lead up to the Melbourne Cup Carnival,” Mr Northe said.
Mr Northe said since 2003, the Melbourne Cup tour had provided regional communities with the chance to get their eye on the $175,000 prize.
“Over that period, the 18-carat gold Melbourne Cup has travelled more than 456,000 kilometres, visited over 333 towns and cities and engaged with hundreds of thousands of people,” Mr Northe said.
“Once tour locations for 2016 have been confirmed by the VRC, the club will work with the chosen towns to plan and host a range of community events to celebrate the Cup’s visit.
“The types of events that have typically been held to celebrate the cup being in town include parades, civic receptions, charity dinners, community events and cocktail parties.”
Member for Eastern Victoria Region Melina Bath said Gippsland was fortunate to have a number of quality racing clubs in towns such as Drouin, Moe, Traralgon, Sale, Stony Creek, Bairnsdale, Buchan, Tambo Valley and Omeo.
“All these clubs work hard to make country racing events a significant part of the local community,” Ms Bath said. “As part of last year’s tour, the Cup visited Rosedale to celebrate the town being the home of the 1915 Cup winner’s owner, the late Edith Widdis, exactly 100 years on from the win.
“Applications to host the cup are open until Monday, 11 April 2016 and I encourage all interested towns to consider making an application,” Ms Bath said.
Online applications can be submitted at: https://www.flemington.com.au/melbourne-cup-carnival/emirates-melbourne-cup-tour
Media contact: 5133 9088