The world’s most iconic racing trophy—the $175,000 Emirates Melbourne Cup—has been taking in the sights of Hong Kong and rubbing shoulders with racing royalty on its latest adventure in the lead up to the first Tuesday in November.
The iconic Victoria Peak, Avenue of Stars, Symphony of Lights and track work at Sha Tin are amongst the sights the well-travelled 18 carat gold Cup has taken in during the visit, led by VRC Director Michael Ramsden.
The world’s best jockey, Brazilian João Moreira, described his experience of riding in his first Emirates Melbourne Cup last year when coming face to face with the 2015 trophy at Sha Tin.
“The opportunity came up last year to go over, and I got there the best experience in horse racing I’ve had in my life,” Moreira said.
The jet setting trophy, which travels internationally on its own passport, was trackside at Happy Valley yesterday (Wednesday) for an exclusive reception and the running of the Victoria Racing Club Trophy, a race born out of the strategic alliance with the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
Hong Kong based French jockey Gerald Mosse, winner of the historic 150th Melbourne Cup in 2010, was the special guest at the event attended by tourism and racing officials, and prominent horse owners and trainers.
The visit forms a part of the VRC’s Asian strategy, which saw Melbourne Cup Carnival attendees travelling from Asia increase by 133 per cent in 2014.
Mr Ramsden said it is a trend the VRC is dedicated to maintaining.
“Hong Kong is a key market for the VRC, and our strategic alliance with the Hong Kong Jockey Club leverages our respective international racing events to grow visitation, wagering and horse participation,” Mr Ramsden said.
Today (Thursday) the Emirates Melbourne Cup was alongside Melbourne hat maker Kim Fletcher who hosted a millinery workshop for Hong Kong’s social set and VIP media, highlighting the importance of fashion to the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
In addition to the annual three-month Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour of Australia and New Zealand, the trophy will visit Japan and China this year.
The 2015 Melbourne Cup Carnival runs from 31 October to 7 November. Visit flemington.com.au for information.