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The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) today announced that 31 destinations will join racing history when they play host to the iconic 18-carat gold Emirates Melbourne Cup in 2017.

As part of the 15th annual Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour, the $200,000 trophy will travel to towns and cities across Australia and New Zealand, before returning to Flemington for ‘The ‘Race That Stops A Nation’™ on the first Tuesday in November.

The successful destinations, selected for their passion for racing and dedication to the community, were announced at a special event at Macedon Lodge – home to 2016 Emirates Melbourne Cup winner, Almandin.

Racing royalty joined the celebrations, including five-time Melbourne Cup winning owner Lloyd Williams, 2016 Emirates Melbourne Cup winning horse Alamandin, 2007 Emirates Melbourne Cup winning horse Efficient and Flemington Ambassador Georgia Connolly.

The 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour will commence on July 1 at West Wyalong in regional NSW, where the gold used by ABC Bullion to make the trophy was mined.

The ‘People’s Cup’ will then make its way around the nation and across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand before being welcomed back to Flemington in November.

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said the Cup is an Australian cultural icon so it’s only fitting that the trophy and its rich history is taken on a journey to meet the people.

“The Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour celebrates the stories intrinsically linked to the Cup and its contribution to Australia’s cultural and historical heritage,” Mrs Elliott said.

“Since the Tour began in 2003, we have delighted in bringing communities together in the shared history and magic of this extraordinary phenomenon.

“We are looking forward to sharing this passion, both here and across the Tasman, as we travel to places as diverse as Roebourne (WA) to Rockhampton (QLD) and Mudgee (NSW) to Murray Bridge (SA).

“In an exciting journey, the Cup will also travel by train on The Ghan from Adelaide to Alice Springs taking the trophy to Australia’s red centre,” Mrs Elliott added.

Mr Williams said he was delighted for Macedon Lodge to be the launching pad for the 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour.

“I think it is fantastic what the VRC does in taking the Cup to the people across the nation and to New Zealand. The Cup has meant so much to me over the years and to see people get the opportunity to get up close and hold the trophy is such a wonderful thing.”

Since its inaugural year in 2003, the Tour has travelled more than 494,000 kilometres and visited more than 377 regional, rural and metropolitan destinations, providing communities with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the magic of the Emirates Melbourne Cup firsthand.

Community members are encouraged to upload photos with the Cup to Facebook, using the hashtags #PeoplesCup and #EmiratesMelbourneCup, for the chance to win a trip for two to Flemington for the running of the 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup.

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