A spectacular finale on TAB Australian Cup Day
The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) will celebrate the final race day of the Flemington Racing Spectacular in style today on TAB Australian Cup Day, capping off a sensational month of racing and entertainment at Headquarters.
More than 11,500 people are expected to head trackside to witness the 161st running of the $3 million Group 1 TAB Australian Cup (2000m) at 4:20pm.
The TAB Australian Cup boasts an honour roll full of champions including Let’s Elope, Saintly, Lonhro and Makybe Diva and this year a full field of 16 elite equine athletes are looking to etch their name into the history books.
Two-time Group 1 winner and crowd favourite Cascadian is currently the punters pick for Godolphin trainer James Cummings and jockey Ben Melham. Cummings will be hoping to emulate his brother Edward Cummings’ feat after winning the race last year with Duais. Their grandfather and Hall of Fame trainer Bart Cummings AM holds the record for the most victories in the Australian Cup with 13 wins.
Ciaron Maher and David Eustace will saddle up two chances in the race in Steinem, to be partnered by jockey Harry Coffey, and TAB Turnbull Stakes winner Smokin’ Romans, to be ridden by Beau Mertens who is in search of his first Group 1 win.
Powerhouse singer-songwriter Bella Paige, most famously known for finishing runner up on The Voice Australia Season 7, will sing the Australian national anthem in the Mounting Yard before the running of the feature.
The day will also feature the running of The Lexus Roy Higgins (2600m), which will offer the first of six golden tickets to contest the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup.
Named in honour of one of the sport’s greatest jockeys, whose list of achievements included two victories in Australia’s most famous race, the $500,000 Listed Lexus Roy Higgins has attracted 10 stayers whose connections will be dreaming of returning to Flemington on the first Tuesday in November 2023.
The Lexus Roy Higgins field is headlined by Chris Waller’s talented import Soulcombe, who currently shares Lexus Melbourne Cup favouritism thanks chiefly to the impression he made on his Australian debut winning the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2600m) at Flemington last spring.
Soulcombe’s owners, who include Richmond premiership players Jack Riewoldt, Tom Lynch, Nathan Broad, Liam Baker, Jack Graham and Jayden Short, will need to defeat favourite Goldman, trained in partnership by Gai Waterhouse OAM and Adrian Bott.
The winning owners will be presented with a special miniature Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy handmade by W.J. Sanders & Co. The trophy is a quarter of the size of the Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy and will be a treasured keepsake for owners for winning the first golden ticket of the year.
Another highlight on the card is the $500,000 Listed Sunlight Classic (1100m) with an elite bunch of three-year-olds set to compete including flying filly Benedetta.
Special guests of the VRC that will be celebrating TAB Australian Cup Day trackside include Australian Paralympian and VRC ambassador Emma Booth, 7Horse Racing’s Grace Hayden and Chairman of the Good Friday Appeal and Herald and Weekly Times Penny Fowler.
Off the track, the Flemington Fareground will finish in fantastic fashion with delicious food, beverages and live entertainment for all ages to enjoy.
The Fareground Stage will transform into a Sesame Street fan’s dream with a special performance from Elmo and Cookie Monster from 1:15pm. This Saturday will also be the last chance for racegoers to get up close and personal with the team from the Wild Action Zoo, who will bring their most furry, scaly and cuddly friends.
The Flemington Front Lawn will be buzzing with activity with merchandise giveaways and competitions in the TAB Dome.
The ‘Front Lawn Party Hour’ is set to finish with a bang with DJ Paris Lawrence on-course to keep the party going for racegoers after the last race.
The VRC will continue their partnership with the Good Friday Appeal to raise much needed funds for The Royal Children’s Hospital. Racegoers will be encouraged to contribute on the day with volunteers out in force rattling tins and selling raffle tickets for a dedicated race day raffle generously supported by the VRC’s partners TCL, Dyson and Myer. All proceeds raised will help contribute to the Good Friday Appeal’s 2023 fundraising campaign. The 2023 Good Friday Appeal ambassadors Aru and Arlo will spend the day in the Flemington Fareground with their families.
Gates open at 10:55am with Race 1 at 12:25pm and the last race at 5:40pm.
Two-time TAB Australian Cup winner Harlem will be on-course to meet racegoers alongside fellow Living Legend Gailo Chop in the race day stalls. They will parade in the Mounting Yard between races 2 and 4.
General Admission tickets are $25 per person with children under 12 admitted free. More information on ticketing for TAB Australian Cup Day can be found at vrc.com.au.