Lexus Melbourne Cup visits the world’s best in Hong Kong
The 21st edition of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour has officially wrapped its international journey after the final overseas stop in Hong Kong.
The iconic trophy took in the city's famous sights and visited some of the world’s best jockeys and trainers from the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
On Tuesday, the $600,000 trophy attended trackwork at Sha Tin Racecourse champion jockeys Zac Purton and Hugh Bowman got up close and personal to the prize. Melbourne Cup-winning trainers David Hall and David Hayes also joined the celebrations with Hall reminiscing on his victory 20 years ago with the great Makybe Diva.
“Makybe Diva probably means everything in my career, she is the ticket that got me here and she put me on the world stage, and she is probably the pinnacle of where it’s at for me.” Hall said.
“The Melbourne Cup is the race that everyone wants to win. I think we've all heard that line before, but the greatest thing about it now is you hear it from everyone else around the world.”
Zac Purton has called Hong Kong home for the past 16 years along with his wife Nicole, daughter of two-time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Jimmy Cassidy. The world champion jockey reflected on his remarkable career and what a Lexus Melbourne Cup win would mean to him.
“I’ve had a fantastic career and have been fortunate to be able to travel all around the world and win in many different countries. I have ridden a lot of good horses, and the Melbourne Cup is the race that I’d like to win, it would put the cherry on top of the cake and complete what my dream would be,” Purton said.
“I think for any Australian jockey it's the dream, it's the pinnacle.”
On Wednesday, the coveted trophy finished its Hong Kong adventure at Happy Valley Racecourse for the iconic “Happy Wednesday” night races.
Victoria Racing Club (VRC) Chairman Neil Wilson said it was wonderful to see the Cup visit Hong Kong.
“This year, the Lexus Melbourne Cup has visited the most overseas locations of any Cup Tour, so it is very fitting to finish our international journey in Hong Kong which is home to some of the world’s most elite jockeys, trainers and horses,” Mr Wilson said.
“The visit supports the important relationship between the VRC and Hong Kong Jockey Club and it was fantastic to be able to see the Cup visit iconic racecourses Sha Tin and Happy Valley.”
“We look forward to welcoming members from the Hong Kong Jockey Club to Flemington next week to watch their superstar Romantic Warrior in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes.”
“The 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival is on our doorstep and continues to build momentum, with just 40 days until the Lexus Melbourne Cup.”
The tour will return to Australia when it visits Orange in New South Wales on Monday 2 October, before making its way through the final destinations across regional Victoria in the lead up to the first Tuesday in November.
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.
For further information about the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour please visit MelbourneCupTour.com.au