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 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.
How it all happened:
- Claims of robbery as Vow and Declare wins
- Gympie Turf Club erupts as Vow And Declare crosses the post
- How the horse that couldn’t be sold won the Melbourne Cup
- How 2 Gympie teachers wound up with share in Vow and Declare
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.
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.
“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.
“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
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