RACING HISTORY: Chosen as on of 26 destinations across the nation, Gympie will play host to the Melbourne Cup Tour next Friday.
RACING HISTORY: Chosen as on of 26 destinations across the nation, Gympie will play host to the Melbourne Cup Tour next Friday.

Gympie to have its hand in Melbourne Cup glory again

THE very thing that put Gympie on the map last year will make history again for the region when Gympie plays host to the Melbourne Cup Tour this year.

One of just four destinations in the state, Gympie will be the second place in the tour starting in Moree in NSW this Friday.

The Lexus Melbourne Cup, 2020.
The Lexus Melbourne Cup, 2020.

The cup will go on to tour 24 other towns and cities across Australia to form the 18th annual tour, but not everyone can boast such a strong connection to it.

Two of the owners of the reigning Melbourne Cup winner Vow and Declare live in Gympie and will add to part of the tour.

Jockey Craig Williams rides Vow And Declare to victory in race 7, the Lexus Melbourne Cup, during Melbourne Cup the Lexus Melbourne Day, at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Tuesday, November 5, 2019. (AAP Image/Michael Dodge)
Jockey Craig Williams rides Vow And Declare to victory in race 7, the Lexus Melbourne Cup, during Melbourne Cup the Lexus Melbourne Day, at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Tuesday, November 5, 2019. (AAP Image/Michael Dodge)

How it all happened:

COVID-19 travel restrictions have meant that this year’s tour will be a combination of physical and virtual visits, where a number of Vow and Declare’s owners will revisit the historic win.

Vow and Declare Part owner and Gympie State High principal Anthony Lanksey said it was wonderful for the community to be so closely connected to last year’s Melbourne Cup win.

“[Gympie] is a great place and … having the attention of Australia put on it I think was a very positive thing for our town.

“We still get stopped in the street.” told RSN radio.

Gympie will also be part of the tour’s National Sweep, which will see 24 rural and regional destinations allocated a barrier for this year’s Cup.

"Gympie's Melbourne Cup": School teachers Bob Leitch and Anthony Lanskey, who are part-owners of Melbourne Cup winning horse Vow and Declare flew the flag for Gympie live on national breakfast television show ABC News Breakfast on Wednesday morning.

The town that draws the barrier of the Melbourne Cup-winning horse will be presented with a cash prize of $50,000 to put towards a charity for a local community initiative.

Bunyip in regional Victoria took home the $50,000 donation last year and put the money towards several community initiatives including assisting with the rebuild of community facilities following the Bunyip State Park fires in March last year.

Victoria Racing Club chairman Amanda Elliott said it was more important than ever to share the magic of the iconic trophy with Australians.

Lanskey family are having lunch at Stokehouse St Kilda to celebrate their horse Vow and Declare winning the Melbourne Cup yesterday. The Lanskey boys, Anthony with sons Ben (2nd from left bending down) and Lachi (2nd from right) and Paul with sons Joseph (centre beige jacket) and Tom (far right). Picture: Mark Stewart
Lanskey family are having lunch at Stokehouse St Kilda to celebrate their horse Vow and Declare winning the Melbourne Cup yesterday. The Lanskey boys, Anthony with sons Ben (2nd from left bending down) and Lachi (2nd from right) and Paul with sons Joseph (centre beige jacket) and Tom (far right). Picture: Mark Stewart

“This year has been exceptionally challenging for all Australians.

“Devastating drought and catastrophic bushfires, as well as a global pandemic have contributed to a sense of isolation, uncertainty and in many cases financial hardship. This has amplified the importance of community and connectedness,” Mrs Elliott said.

“In the year of the 160th running of our great race, we are looking forward to connecting with people in a very modern way.

"Gympie's Melbourne Cup": Gympie State High School principal Anthony Lanskey celebrates the victory of Vow and Declare at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday.

“To be able to share stories, celebrate favourite moments, while raising much needed funds for a large range of worthy causes.”

Each town will also receive a miniature gold-plated Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy.

Since its beginning, the Tour has travelled more than 700,000 kilometres and visited more than 500 regional, rural and metropolitan destinations.

2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour Itinerary

Date, destination

September 4 – 5: Moree, NSW

September 11: Gympie, QLD

September 14: Latrobe, TAS

September 16: Busselton, WA

September 17: Nillumbik, VIC

September 18: Brisbane, QLD

September 20: Sunshine Coast, QLD

September 21: Casino, NSW

September 23: Kangaroo Island, SA

September 25: Mareeba, QLD

September 28: Katherine, NT

October 1: Geelong, VIC

October 2: Moruya/Bateman’s Bay Region, NSW

October 3: Malua Bay, NSW

October 6: Donald, VIC

October 7: Birchip, VIC

October 9: Melbourne, VIC

October 11: Marlo, VIC

October 12: Buchan, VIC

October 13: Mallacoota, VIC

October 14: Sydney. NSW

October 15: Melbourne, VIC

October 16: Grampians Region, VIC

October 18: Horsham, VIC

October 20: Kyabram, VIC

October 22: Melbourne, VIC

October 23: Murrindindi/Mansfield Region, VIC

October 24 – 26: Melbourne, VIC

October 27: Fosterville, VIC

October 28: Bendigo, VIC

October 29 – November 3: Melbourne, VIC

  • Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep destination
Gympie Times


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