Last call for towns and communities to be part of the 2024 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour

18 April 2024 Written by VRC

Communities across Australia have a few days left to submit their application to host the much-anticipated 2024 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour to experience the magic of the Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy and for the chance to win a $50,000 cash prize to put towards a charity of their choice.

With excitement already building for this year’s tour the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) today presented the winning town of last year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep, Macedon, and their nominated charity Living Legends, with their $50,000 cash prize. Past Melbourne Cup winners who now call Living Legends home including Twilight Payment and Prince of Penzance were also involved in the festivities.

Macedon hosted the tour last October, which saw the $600,000 18-carat-gold trophy attend several community events including an open day hosted by Macedon Lodge, one of the training facilities of champion trainer Chris Waller.

The regional Victorian town drew barrier 16 in the 2023 National Sweep and cheered home the Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained stayer Without A Fight in the ‘race that stops a nation’™ before nominating Living Legends, home to many retired Melbourne Cup champions, as their charity of choice.

VRC Chairman Neil Wilson assisted in the official proceedings and congratulated the community of Macedon and their nominated charity Living Legends as the winners of the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep.

“We're delighted to present the wonderful community of Macedon with $50,000 as the winners of last year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep, and to see the funds support the important work of Living Legends,” Mr Wilson said.

“Living Legends is an excellent way for the community to connect with our elite equine athletes as they enjoy their retirement. The sweep funds will support the great work conducted by the dedicated team at Living Legends under the guidance of our great partner of the VRC Dr Andrew Clarke and his dedicated team to care for our retired champions.

“The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour and National Sweep are an important annual VRC event, and we encourage every community, no matter where they are located or how many residents call it home, to apply to host this year’s edition.”

Macedon representative Mark Player, who hosted the tour last year, said Macedon Lodge was delighted with the result.

“It was a privilege to host the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour at Macedon and celebrate the rich history between the Cup and Macedon Lodge with the local community,” Mr Player said.

"The Macedon region is home to many horse enthusiasts and I am sure that they, along with the team at Macedon Lodge, are delighted to make this important donation to Living Legends, an organisation which plays a unique and highly important role in the racing industry.”

Living Legends CEO Dr Andrew Clarke said the contribution will be a huge support to the organisation. 

“We were so excited to see Mark Zahra and Without A Fight cross the finish line first! The generous contribution will be a huge boost for our community programs, enabling us to continue to provide a space for the community to bond with our racehorse champions and promote a life after racing for all horses,” Dr Clarke said.

“The VRC have been long-term supporters of ours, and we can’t thank them, Mark Player and the Macedon community enough for choosing us to receive this generous donation.”

Since its establishment in 2003, the tour has seen the iconic trophy and racing legends journey far and wide across Australia and the world, with previous destinations including Birdsville in central Queensland, Tokyo in Japan, Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, York in the United Kingdom, Deloraine in Tasmania and Kangaroo Island in South Australia.

Now in its 22nd year, the tour has travelled over one million kilometres, visiting more than 640 destinations to unite communities and provide the once-in-life-time opportunity to get up close and experience the magic of the People’s Cup.

This includes visiting 482 schools, 401 hospitals and aged care facilities, participating in over 2100 community events and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for local fundraising initiatives.

The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep is an important VRC charity initiative and will return as part of this year’s program to give 24 rural and regional Cup Tour destinations across Australia the opportunity to be allocated a barrier for the 2024 Lexus Melbourne Cup.

Representatives from each of the 24 destinations will be flown to Melbourne to watch the Lexus Melbourne Cup live on track at Flemington and the town which draws the barrier of the winning horse will be presented with a cash prize of $50,000 to put towards a charity of their choice.

Once the destinations for this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour have been confirmed, communities will be supported by the VRC to plan and host a range of memorable community events the during the Cup’s visit.

A stable of racing legends will accompany the cup as official tour ambassadors and share their unforgettable Lexus Melbourne Cup moments.

Applications can be made online at until Friday 19 April.

Successful 2024 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour submissions will be announced in June, with the tour officially commencing its journey in June.