VRC MEDIA RELEASE
The People’s Cup races towards New Zealand
Matamata, Wellington and Otago will all join racing history when they play host to the $200,000,
18-carat gold Lexus Melbourne Cup this week as part of the 17th annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.
The coveted trophy will begin its New Zealand journey on Wednesday 28 August in Matamata,
starting its tour with a breakfast event at the Hobbiton™ Movie Set before visiting Valachi Downs
Stud, Rich Hill Stud and Waikato Stud.
On Wednesday afternoon the People’s Cup will attend the Matamata Races, where racegoers will
have the chance to take photos with the $200,000 trophy and hear from Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour
Ambassadors, Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Mike Moroney and former Racing Victoria Chief
Steward Des Gleeson, who will both be accompanying the Cup on its NZ journey.
On Thursday 29 August the Cup will travel to Wellington, where the 18 carat-gold trophy will visit
residents at Summerset retirement village and attend a riding lesson at Hutt Valley Riding for
Disabled Association. In the afternoon the public will be invited to share in the magic of the trophy
during a public display at Queensgate Shopping Centre.
On Thursday night the Cup will attend a Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce “After 5” function where
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace and Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy will be in attendance.
On Friday 30 August the People’s Cup will travel to Otago and attend the Regional Otago Racing
Club Awards Night before heading to Otago Racing Club for their open day on Saturday 31 August.
Matamata Racing Club Chairman Dennis Ryan said being part of the Tour will be an unforgettable
“As one of New Zealand’s most successful and significant training and racing centres, Matamata is
intrinsically linked to the Lexus Melbourne Cup. We look forward to sharing the Cup with the
community and celebrating the iconic trophy as well as our own racing history,” Mr Ryan said.
Wellington Racing Club Chief Executive Al Robertson said they are looking forward to welcoming
the People’s Cup to Wellington.
“We are very excited to welcome the Lexus Melbourne Cup to town when it visits this week.
Wellington Racing Club is one of New Zealand’s oldest racing clubs and has a close affinity with the
Melbourne Cup,” Mr Robertson said.
Otago Racing Club President Ray Kean said they are thrilled to be welcoming the Cup to the south
“The Otago region has a special connection to the Melbourne Cup, with 1970 winner Baghdad Note
trained in Dunedin and 1989 winner Tawriffic bred at White Robe Lodge and we are extremely
excited to host the Cup.”
Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Chief Executive Officer Neil Wilson said the Club is looking forward to
sharing the coveted trophy with the New Zealand community.
“The Lexus Melbourne Cup holds a special place in the heart of many Australians and it is only
fitting we take the Cup and its rich history on a journey to meet the people who share our love for
the great race,” Mr Wilson said.
Since its inaugural year in 2003, the Tour has travelled more than 600,000 kilometres and visited
more than 450 regional, rural and metropolitan destinations, providing communities with a oncein-
a-lifetime opportunity to experience the magic of the Lexus Melbourne Cup.