Melbourne Cup comes to Wellington

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 12:09 28/07/2014
Michael Clarke
MAARTEN HOLL/Fairfax NZ

CUP OF MEMORIES: Michael Clarke, winner of the 1986 Melbourne Cup, with the precious prize at Te Papa.

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The Melbourne Cup has come to New Zealand and Wellingtonians will have the chance to hold the coveted racing prize today.

The 2014 Emirates Melbourne Cup Tour will be on show to the public at the Portlander Bar and Grill from 1.30pm - 2.30pm.

The city was one of the six official destinations across New Zealand and 28 in Australia where people could see the $187,000, 18-carat gold cup ahead of the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Michael Clarke, winner of the Melbourne Cup 1986 with At Talaq, is the tour ambassador.

He tells the history of the 154-year-old cup and shares his experience of wining what he calls the pinnacle of his career as a jockey.

Victoria Racing Club racing engagements cup tour manager Joe McGrath said people were fascinated about the history.

About 42 New Zealand-bred horses won the race since 1883 and the country dominated the race in the 1960s and 1970s, he said.

Efficient was the last New Zealand-bred horse to win in 2007.

A lot more European entries made the cup harder to win for New Zealanders, he said.

''Both New Zealand and Australia are under threat from the Europeans,'' he said

However, there were some good New Zealand horses that could do well this year, he said.

These included Who Shot Thebarman, Silent Achiever and Rising Romance.

During the tour, people are encouraged to use #PeoplesCup when posting images and comments via social media.

Victoria Racing Club acting chief executive Julian Sullivan said the club encouraged New Zealand communities to share in the heart-warming stories.

 "The Emirates Melbourne Cup holds historical, cultural and social significance and each year it is a pleasure to see the trophy uplift communities and reignite the love for the great race."

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- The Dominion Post

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