The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour visits Godolphin’s Osborne Park
Godolphin Australia’s private training facility - Osborne Park - at Agnes Banks Sydney was the most recent stop of the Victoria Racing Club’s Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.
Members of local schools, community partners, charitable organisations and media were invited to Godolphin Australia’s racing home on Thursday, 27 July to learn about the operation’s many facets, the thoroughbred industry and the history of the race that stops a nation™, the Lexus Melbourne Cup.
Educational activations provided insights into the versatility of the thoroughbred breed, its life after racing and the Godolphin Lifetime Care program – including a meet and greet with Godolphin Lifetime Care flagbearer and G1-winning fan favourite, Kementari.
The VRC offered a history of the Melbourne Cup as well as exclusive photo opportunities with the 2023 trophy whilst Godolphin later hosted a tour of its training facilities, offering access to the barns, bloodstock, its private training track and gardens.
A Q&A panel during the morning’s activities offered access to the stories, knowledge and experience of Champion jockey Darren Beadman, Godolphin Australia Head Trainer James Cummings and Managing Director Vin Cox.
The Cup Tour itself is celebrating its 21st birthday in 2023, with Godolphin acknowledging that the Tour has developed into one of the VRC’s most important promotional and fundraising initiatives.
The program has been successful in engaging with tens of thousands of people both in Australia and overseas and raising over $250,000 in fundraising initiatives for regional communities while spreading the story of our greatest thoroughbred horse race and highlighting its magnificent contribution to Australian history.
This year's Tour commenced in Tokyo, Japan on 10 June and has already visited London, Auckland, Cambridge, Adelaide, Balaklava, Port Augusta, Quorn, Boulia and Mount Isa.
VRC Chairman Neil Wilson said the club was delighted to visit Godolphin’s Agnes Banks property as part of the 21st annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.
“After receiving a record-breaking number of applications, the VRC is very pleased to include Godolphin’s Agnes Banks property as an official stop on the Tour,” Mr Wilson said. “Godolphin and the VRC have a rich history - from Cross Counter winning the Lexus Melbourne Cup in 2018 to Cascadian racing home to win the Australian Cup in March this year.
“It is fantastic to see this world-class operation in New South Wales in person and we were delighted to get a behind-the-scenes tour, including seeing Kementari, a former Flemington winner and fan favourite who has been retired from racing and become the latest flagbearer for the Godolphin Lifetime Care program.”
Godolphin previously hosted the Cup Tour at its Kelvinside stud property in the Hunter Valley, NSW in 2019. Coinciding with the horse’s official birthday on 1 August, it also encompassed a celebration of legendary galloper and stallion Lonhro’s 21st birthday and was followed by a tour of local primary schools and a retirement village.
Godolphin Australia’s Managing Director Vin Cox noted that after the Cup left Osborne Park, it took a similar path through local area primary schools for an early lead-up to the horse’s birthday.
“It is the race that stops a nation and this is an opportunity to talk to those people who don’t normally think about racing. From a Godolphin perspective, we support that at every level.“
Events like this are incredibly important to connect our communities with our greatest team member, the horse.
“Hosting the Melbourne Cup at Osborne Park is a great opportunity to work with the racing community to showcase it in front of school children and present the opportunities that racing offers, whether that’s from a horse welfare perspective, an employment perspective or just general philanthropic work.”