The Melbourne Cup trophy is heading to Bowen as part of it's annual tour.
The Melbourne Cup trophy is heading to Bowen as part of it's annual tour. Dave Noonan

Cup trophy to visit Bowen

THERE's almost no horse race as iconic as the Melbourne Cup, and almost no trophy as iconic as the Melbourne Cup trophy.

Luckily for residents of Bowen, they will soon have a chance to see the legendary trophy after the town was announced as a stop on the 17th Annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

The tour will see the Melbourne Cup fly around the world, stopping at 37 different destinations, before finishing its tour in Victoria for race day.

Victoria Racing Club chairman Amanda Elliott said this year's tour will celebrate the appeal of racing and the iconic Melbourne Cup trophy with more communities than ever before.

"Since the tour began in 2003, we have delighted in bringing communities together in the shared history and magic of the Melbourne Cup," Mrs Elliott said.

"This year is especially significant, with 2019 marking the 100th anniversary of the three-handled Melbourne Cup trophy design."

This year's tour will also feature an exciting new element, with 24 rural and regional destinations across Australia to be allocated a barrier for the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup.

Bowen will be included as one the national sweep destinations, joining North Queensland locations like Townsville and Ayr.

Barriers will be drawn at random throughout the tour and the town which draws the barrier of the Lexus Melbourne Cup-winning horse will be presented with a cash prize of $50,000 to be put towards a charity for a local community initiative.

Although the trophy represents a Victorian race, there is a very North Queensland influence with the gold locally sourced from the Mt Carlton mines run by Evolution Mining, north of Bowen.

Evolution Mining general manager Mt Carlton operations Anton Kruger said he was looking forward to hosting the iconic trophy at the Mt Carlton Mine when it visits in July.

"Evolution is very excited that the Lexus Melbourne Cup is visiting its birthplace, our Mt Carlton Operation, as well as surrounding Whitsunday and Burdekin communities including Gumlu, Home Hill, Ayr and Bowen," he said.

The trophy will make its debut in Bowen on July 25.