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The iconic Emirates Melbourne Cup trophy received a hero’s welcome last night at the exclusive homecoming cocktail reception in the LaTrobe Ballroom at Sofitel Melbourne On Collins.

Hosted by the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) and Sofitel Melbourne On Collins, the event celebrated the return of the people’s Cup following its 27-destination, globetrotting community tour of Australia and New Zealand.

The event turned back the time to make a retrospective Melbourne Cup presentation to the connections of the 1939 Melbourne Cup-winning trainer of Rivette, Harry Bamber. Rivette set the history books that year becoming the first mare to win the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups double.

“We were delighted to accept this award on behalf of the Bamber family,” nephew of Harry Bamber, Kevin Whelan said.

“Harry was a true battler who came across one of the best mares of her time. Her efforts in becoming the first mare to win the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups double places her in a unique position within the history books of Australian racing,” Mr Whelan added.

Hosted by Channel 7’s Rebecca Maddern, fashion and racing royalty lined the room for the homecoming including 2012 Miss Universe Australia Renae Ayris; triple Melbourne Cup-winning jockey, Glen Boss; along with the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour Ambassadors including John Letts (1972 and 1980 Melbourne Cups); John Marshall (1991); Roy Higgins (1965 & 67); Jim Johnson (1963, 68 & 69), Des Gleeson (former Chief Steward Racing Victoria)

Serenaded by the 2011 graduates of the Bachelor of Music Theatre Victorian College of the Arts, the 2012 Emirates Melbourne Cup trophy made a grand entrance to the soiree in the hands of Ms Ayris, before taking pride of place on stage for its one-night only appearance before the 152nd running of ‘the race that stops a nationTM’.

Three time Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Glen Boss recounted the moments in 2003, 04 and 05 when he rode Makybe Diva first past the finishing post to claim the Melbourne Cup – a story that had the crowd listening intently to every word.

In keeping with the celebrations of 50 years of Fashions on the Field at Flemington, VRC Chairman Michael Burn unveiled the photographic exhibition ‘Jean Shrimpton: the story of the dress that shocked a nation’, telling the story of the sensational moment when the international model graced the lawns of Flemington on Victoria Derby Day in 1965 wearing a white mini dress, without any of the assumed mandatory accessories of the Members enclosure.

Mr Burn acknowledged the exhibition and that photo which has become the most recognised non-racing image in the history of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“The VRC is delighted once again to partner with Sofitel to include a Melbourne Cup focussed Exhibition titled this year – Jean Shrimpton: the story of the dress that shocked a nation.

“Jean Shrimpton’s impact on fashion in Australia is unparalleled and was a result of that famous Derby Day back in 1965.

“This exhibition profiles images never seen before and will reignite memories for many who can recall this significant event. It is a must see exhibition,” Mr Burn stated.

The 2012 Emirates Melbourne Cup – the brightest symbol of Australian racing with its three handles, distinctive silhouette and glowing gold aura – is valued at $AUD175,000 and will be presented to the owners of the winning horse after the running of the 2012 Emirates Melbourne Cup, on Tuesday 6th November at 3.00pm.

In its tenth year, the Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour continues to celebrate the heroes, towns, communities, people, horses and racing identities connected to the Melbourne Cup’s rich 151-year history, reaching thousands of people and capturing the hearts and minds of communities across Australia, New Zealand and indeed the rest of the world. The Cup trophy each year embarks on an international journey raising the profile of the Emirates Melbourne Cup race.

The ‘Jean Shrimpton: the story of the dress that shocked a nation’ exhibition is on display to the public in the Latrobe Room at Sofitel Melbourne On Collins from the 5th to 25th November, 2012.

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