Lexus Melbourne Cup tour commemorates historic win
The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour has continued its memorable journey around the United Kingdom and Ireland, with the iconic trophy dropping into celebrated racehorse trainer Dermot Weld’s Rosewell House stables at The Curragh, Ireland.
This year the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) will celebrate 25 years since Weld broke new ground when Irish galloper Vintage Crop become the first internationally-trained horse to win the Melbourne Cup in 1993.
The victory sparked the beginning of a host of overseas raiders making the journey to Flemington in a quest to win one of racing’s main crowns.
Since Vintage Crop’s win, only six internationally-trained horses have won the Melbourne Cup, including the Weld-trained Media Puzzle in 2002.
As part of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour visit, VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott observed Weld at work at his Rosewell House stables where the master trainer prepares a quality team of horses.
The famed Irish trainer was also joined by Vintage Crop’s regular rider Michael Kinane, and the two reflected on the significance of Vintage Crop’s win.
“Australia is very special to me, it always has been and it always will be. I’ve been fortunate to win two Melbourne Cups so it makes it extra special,” Weld said.
“We were one of the pioneers, winning Group 1 races around the world before it came fashionable. The adventure, the travel – that never daunted me. I had to wait for the right horse to do it and I knew that Vintage Crop was the horse that could possibly do it.”
Mrs Elliott said it was only fitting for the VRC to take this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup to the men responsible for changing the history of the race.
“Today was an absolutely spectacular day. Their recall of that day in 1993 and what it meant to them gave me shivers,” Mrs Elliott said.
“When I asked Dermot what he felt when Vintage Crop crossed the line and he knew he’d won, he said it was utter content because he had longed to win the race.”
Following the stop at Rosewell House, Kinane and the Lexus Melbourne Cup ventured to the Irish National Stud where Vintage Crop lived a long and happy retirement.
“I was here on numerous occasions with him. He was very happy here and it was a lovely retirement home for him,” Kinane said.
Kinane said the 1993 win was one of the highlights of his career and it was amazing to see the 2018 Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy.
“It was a fantastic memory, a great achievement. It seems like yesterday but time is suddenly telling us it’s 25 years. I can still feel it,” Kinane said.
The last stop of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour’s European adventure will be attending Irish Oaks Weekend at The Curragh racecourse, where the VRC will have a reciprocal race on Sunday 22 July.
Explore the Lexus Melbourne Cup tour itinerary here.