Melbourne Cup to stop at Scone and Aberdeen on its 17th annual tour

MELBOURNE CUP MAGIC: The 1919 Melbourne Cup, which was the first three-handled Melbourne Cup.
MELBOURNE CUP MAGIC: The 1919 Melbourne Cup, which was the first three-handled Melbourne Cup.

THE magic of the Melbourne Cup will soon return to the Upper Hunter.

And this year it will be on the day of days for horses, the horses' birthday.

Scone and Aberdeen are set to play host to the the iconic 18-carat gold Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy on August 1.

The Upper Hunter towns were revealed as tour destinations at a launch at Flemington Racecourse this week, joining 38 other towns and cities across the globe that will be part of the 17th annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

As well as engaging in a number of community activities while on tour in the Hunter Valley, the iconic trophy will visit Godolphin's Kelvinside Stud Farm.

Godolphin Managing Director Vin Cox said he is looking forward to welcoming the iconic trophy when it visits on the horses' birthday.

"We are excited to celebrate the Cup's arrival with the community and reflect on the thrilling victory of Cross Counter in last year's Melbourne Cup," he said.

"We encourage everyone in the Upper Hunter region to come and visit Kelvinside to see the Cup."

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) officially announced this week that the prizemoney for the Lexus Melbourne Cup had been increased to $8 million, a record in the 158 year history of 'the race that stops a nation'.

CUP TOUR LAUNCH: Victoria Racing Club Chairman Amanda Elliott with the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

CUP TOUR LAUNCH: Victoria Racing Club Chairman Amanda Elliott with the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

In a new initiative for the tour, Aberdeen and Scone will be two of 24 rural and regional destinations across Australia to be allocated a barrier for the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup to be included as a national sweep destination.

Barriers will be drawn at random throughout the tour and the town which 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.

Since its beginning, the tour has travelled more than 600,000 kilometres 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.

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