Lexus Melbourne Cup tours New Zealand

7 July 2023 Written by VRC

The iconic Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy has continued its global tour, venturing across the Tasman Sea this week to visit Auckland and Cambridge in New Zealand as part of the 21st annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

New Zealand has a rich history with the Lexus Melbourne Cup, with 44 New Zealand bred horses having won the iconic race.

The appeal of Flemington also stretches off the track, with Cup Week attracting close to 10,000 New Zealanders each year.

As part of the journey south, the $600,000 trophy took in the sights of Auckland, including attending a special event at Lexus of Auckland City, where customers had the opportunity to get photos with the three handled trophy.

The $600,000 trophy then ventured south to Cambridge where it participated in a number of community events and visited some of the region’s top stud farms.

This included Trelawney Stud, the home to seven Melbourne Cup winners and Rich Hill Stud, where the Cup got up close and personal with 2009 Melbourne Cup winner Shocking.

The trophy also visited several key trainers with Cup Week on their agenda, including Roger James and his exciting filly Prowess as well as Ken and Bev Kelso and their 2023 Australian Guineas champion Legarto.

The People’s Cup also caught up with 2007 Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Graeme Rogerson, who has his sights set on this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup with talented stayer Sharp’N’Smart.

“I think Sharp ‘N’ Smart is the best staying horse that I’ve ever trained, and we’ve had some good horses,” Mr Rogerson said.

“So hopefully we have him right in the spring and we will see whether we are there or not,” Mr Rogerson said.

The final stop on the New Zealand journey was a visit to leading racing and breeding operation Te Akau Stud, with Stud Principal David Ellis CNZM welcoming the arrival of the Cup.

Ellis confirmed stable stars Imperatriz and Campionessa will both be looking to make the journey to Melbourne during Cup Week.
This year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour will see the iconic trophy travel to 41 destinations, with the final route spanning seven countries including Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Hong Kong and Japan.

Since its inaugural journey in 2003, the tour has travelled more than 900,000 kilometers, visited more than 590 regional, rural and metropolitan destinations, and helped communities raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity and community initiatives.

Find out more information about the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.