2022 09 news melbourne cup

It sat at the Portarlington Golf Club, commanding the reverence of a visiting head of state.

It was photographed like a leading lady on the red carpet.

And we’re led to believe it may even have put a tear in the eye of a few more seasoned observers.

Yes, it’s the Melbourne Cup.

And for the first time in its 161-year history, the Cup made its way to town this week, including a dinner date at the Portarlington Golf Club.

It’s revered around Australia and New Zealand as the ultimate racing prize and maintains a strong historical attachment to the racing industry’s “battlers” who cling to the romantic notion that anyone can own the stayer that can win the “race that stops a nation”.

So for those who had watched it through the decades, particularly those who’d never seen it in person, to have the golden cup in the View Room was a special treat indeed.

“It’s been part of us for so long, so it’s pretty nice to see it first hand,” one guest said of the surprisingly large and heavy trophy, that weighs in at 3.4kg and, containing 1.65kg of 18-carat gold, is valued at approximately $275,000.

“It’s impressive … and you know how much it means to so many people, so to be able to pick it up and take a photo with it is very cool.”
Legendary race caller Greg Miles, who called a remarkable 36 editions of the Cup, was part of the VRC contingent who brought the Cup to town as the only western Victorian stop on its international tour that is now in its 20th year.

Miles regaled the 80-strong audience with a series of Melbourne Cup tales, spilling some inside secrets on a few great moments.

Since the tour’s inception in 2003, the famous three-handled Cup has travelled more than 760,000km around the world, visiting more than 560 destinations, engaging with tens of thousands of people and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for local fundraising initiatives.

As part of that process this year, Portarlington is one of 24 regional venues that will be allocated a barrier as part of a $50,000 national sweep.

That barrier will be allocated to a horse when the final barrier draw is made on the weekend before the cup is run. Should that horse duly win on the first Tuesday in November, a cash prize of $50,000 will be put towards a charity for a community initiative within Portarlington.