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Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour begins momentous journey 

Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour lands in London

The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour has officially landed in London ahead of its historic journey across the United Kingdom and Ireland. The European expedition will make up seven of 37 destinations selected to host the 16th annual Melbourne Cup Tour.

Travelling with its very own passport, the first stop on the globetrotting Tour was a visit to the bustling Covent Garden studio of famed British milliner Stephen Jones OBE.

A Melbourne Cup Carnival regular, Jones reflected on his illustrious career designing headwear for some of the world’s most famous stars, including Nicole Kidman’s 2012 AAMI Victoria Derby Day appearance. 

Jones said the Melbourne Cup Carnival was one of the most significant events on the calendar for millinery fashion and it is only fitting for London to be the first stop on the Tour.

“Going to Flemington is always an adventure, whether I’m going by car or train, it’s fantastic and I love seeing everybody first thing in the morning really dressed up and having a glass of champagne before 11 o’clock,” Mr Jones said.

“I’m really excited to have the Cup come to London first of all and so it should because I think it’s such a unique bond between Britain and Australia.”

The London stop is just the beginning of a remarkable maiden journey around the United Kingdom and Ireland for the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

The $200,000 trophy will be in Newmarket from 11 July – 14 July as the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) reflects on the rich history of horse racing in the town as well as previous UK runners in the Cup.

The ‘People’s Cup’ will attend the famed July Festival at Newmarket, where VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott will present the 2016 and 2017 Melbourne Cup breeders’ trophies to connections of Almandin and Rekindling.

Following the visit to Newmarket, the Cup will travel to Kingsclere Stables to catch up with trainer Andrew Balding and preview his prospective runners for this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup.


Milliner Stephen Jones OBE with the Lexus Melbourne Cup in his Covent Garden studio. Image: Karon Photography

The final stop in the United Kingdom will be Stringston Farm, the birthplace of Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling. The Pocock family will open up their gates to showcase the humble beginnings of the 2017 Melbourne Cup hero.

The 18-carat gold trophy will then cross the Irish Sea and travel to The Curragh. Here it will pay a sentimental visit to the Irish National Stud, where 1993 Melbourne Cup winner Vintage Crop lived a long and happy retirement.

This year’s 158th edition of the Lexus Melbourne Cup will mark 25 years since the Irish-trained stayer produced a runaway victory and internationalised Australia’s greatest race.

In celebration of the internationalisation of the Melbourne Cup, the Tour will also visit Rosewell House stables, where Vintage Crop was trained by Ireland’s pioneering horseman Dermot Weld. Weld will be joined by Vintage Crop’s rider Michael Kinane to reflect on the significance of the Cup victory and how it changed their lives.

Lexus Australia Chief Executive Scott Thompson said Lexus is thrilled to be a key partner in such an important VRC activity.

“The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour is a special event in its own right that perfectly befits the iconic and globally-significant Lexus Melbourne Cup.

“As the new naming rights sponsor, we are delighted to play our part in providing the opportunity for so many people both locally and abroad to experience this iconic trophy firsthand.”

The last stop of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour’s European adventure will be attending Irish Oaks Weekend at The Curragh racecourse, where the VRC will have a reciprocal race on Sunday 22 July.

Explore the Lexus Melbourne Cup tour itinerary here.