Cup trophy worth $200,000 is coming to the North Burnett
Horse racing: The Victoria Racing Club announced this week that Mount Perry will join racing history when it plays host to the iconic 18-carat gold Lexus Melbourne Cup in 2018.
Mount Perry was revealed as a tour destination at a special event in Richmond, Melbourne, joining 36 other cities and towns across the globe that will be part of the 16th annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.
North Burnett Regional Council mayor Rachel Chambers said being part of the tour would be an unforgettable experience that would unite community members as they played host to Australia's most famous trophy.
"We are extremely excited to have the $200,000 trophy visit the Mount Perry region, especially given the gold used in this year's trophy was sourced from the local Mount Rawdon Mine,” Cr Chambers said.
"2018 is the first time the cup will be made exclusively of gold from Queensland and the community cannot wait to celebrate our part in cup history.”
Champion jockeys and newly appointed cup tour ambassadors Hugh Bowman and Michelle Payne joined racing minister, Martin Pakula, VRC chairman Amanda Elliott, Flemington ambassador Georgia Connolly and Lexus ambassador Kate Waterhouse for the big announcement.
Mount Perry Race Club secretary Joy Jensen said for the town to be selected was very "significant news”.
"We're very proud that we have mineral deposits and as a mining town, we're doing well,” Mrs Jensen said.
"We value the employment opportunities and what the mine brings to the town, it's made our population and job growth grow.”
On Friday, September 14, and Saturday, September 15, the $200,000 gold trophy will make its way to the Mount Perry community.
"The Melbourne Cup trophy will be visiting the school that Friday and on Saturday it will visit the Mt Rawdon Mine,” she said.
"It's the first time Queensland gold has been used for the cup and the first time for Mount Perry to get involved.
"On Saturday afternoon the race club will be holding a betting meeting and the gold cup will be out for viewing, we're looking to make it a family entertainment afternoon at the race course.”
The Mount Perry races will be held on Saturday, November 17.
VRC chairman Amanda Elliott said the global focus of this year's tour reflects the undisputed international profile of the Lexus Melbourne Cup.
"The appeal of our illustrious race stretches far beyond Flemington. The Lexus Melbourne Cup tour gives us an important opportunity to share the magic of the Cup with people everywhere,” Mrs Elliott said.
"The tour has become one of the most important things we do at the VRC. We are custodians of something that means so much to so many.”