Seventh golden ticket on offer into 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup

29 June 2023 Written by VRC

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) today released the conditions for the 2023 Group 1 AUD$8.4 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m), with the introduction of a seventh golden ticket into the race that stops a nation™.

The Sky Bet Ebor Handicap (2700m) will become the only international race to offer automatic entry into the Lexus Melbourne Cup, with Britain’s richest flat handicap now set to give connections an even bigger incentive to win.

The Ebor Handicap will be run at York Racecourse on Saturday 26 August, with the 2023 AUD$600,000 Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy to attend as part of its visit to the United Kingdom for the 21st annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

The Ebor Handicap has a strong Melbourne Cup record, with several Ebor runners travelling to Melbourne to compete over the years. The most notable was 2016 Ebor Handicap winner Heartbreak City, who finished a close second in the 2016 Melbourne Cup.

VRC Chief Executive Steve Rosich said the alignment with York Racecourse was a natural progression.

"The Ebor Handicap has been a proven pathway into the Melbourne Cup over the years and it is fantastic to be able to build on the association with Flemington and York Racecourse,” Mr Rosich said.

“The introduction of a seventh golden ticket is exciting for both clubs and the connections of all potential Ebor runners. It further cements the Lexus Melbourne Cup’s international reach and appeal.”

Ahead of the golden ticket announcement, York Racecourse submitted an application to host the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

Chief Executive of York Racecourse William Derby said the Cup’s visit will now take on extra special meaning.

“It is fantastic to officially connect two iconic races in the Sky Bet Ebor Handicap and the Lexus Melbourne Cup with the introduction of a golden ticket for the Ebor winner into the race that stops a nation and indeed much of the world,” Mr Derby said.

“With the York winner having finished in the top ten at Flemington in three of the four years preceding the pandemic, this great news will give confidence to winning connections that their start at Flemington is secure, further linking two great races.”

“We look forward to welcoming the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup to the Sky Bet Ebor Festival in August on its annual tour across the world and are hopeful it can return to Britain after the first Tuesday in November.”

The Ebor Handicap joins The Lexus Roy Higgins (2600m), The Lexus Andrew Ramsden (2800m), The Lexus Bart Cummings (2500m), the Caulfield Cup (2400m), the Cox Plate (2040m) and the Lexus Archer Stakes (2500m) as win and you’re in races.

Other key changes to the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup Conditions include the change of declaration dates and two amendments to the balloting conditions.

Connections are required to officially nominate their horses for the Lexus Melbourne Cup by Tuesday 5 September 2023, with entries closing at midday. See below for full list of declaration dates.

In another slight balloting change, any placegetter from a golden ticket race or any Group 1 race held over 2000m or further will pass the first ballot for the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

Key Dates and Fees

Nominations/Entries  12:00 pm (AEST) Tuesday 5 September - $1,500
Late Nomination 12:00pm (AEST) Tuesday 12 September - $5,500
First Declarations 12:00pm (AEST) Tuesday 3 October - $2,000
Second Declarations 12:00pm (AEST) Tuesday 17 October - $3,000
Third Declarations 10:00am (AEST) Monday 30 October - $4,000
Final Declarations 4:30pm (AEST) Saturday 4 November - $49,500

Prizemoney Breakdown*

1st $4,400,000
2nd $1,100,000
3rd $500,000
4th $350,000
5th $230,000
6th – 12th $160,000
*Including trophies valued at $660,000

The 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup Conditions can be viewed here.

The 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival begins on Saturday 4 November with Penfolds Victoria Derby Day, followed by Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 7 November, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday 9 November, and concludes with TAB Champions Stakes Day on Saturday 11 November. For more information and to purchase tickets visit