Melbourne Cup to return to Kyabram

By Kyabram Free Press

Australia’s most prized racing silverware — the Melbourne Cup — is to make a third appearance in five years in Kyabram.

Promotors of the famous two-mile race on the first Tuesday in November announced they had included Kyabram again in the 24 towns the cup would visit.

But a lot more will be hinging on this year’s visit than when the cup was paraded in Kyabram in 2016 — $50,000, in fact.

Miles Gould, who organised the last cup visit in 2016 when president of the Kyabram Chamber of Commerce and who is co-ordinating this year’s event, said towns on the cup visit agenda would go into a draw for barriers in the Melbourne Cup.

‘‘The town that draws the barrier from which the Melbourne Cup winner comes from will receive $50,000, which will be donated to a charitable town organisation,’’ Mr Gould said.

He said if Kyabram was lucky enough to get the Melbourne Cup winner, Kyabram and District Health Services would be the benefactor.

Mr Gould said the draw would be performed in the week leading to up to the group one Turnbull Stakes on Saturday, October 3 at Flemington.

“We won’t know what horse will come from the barrier we draw until the Saturday before the Melbourne Cup field is finalised,’’ said Mr Gould.

Last year Kyabram-raised trainer Danny O’Brien bought the trainer’s version of the Melbourne Cup, won by his charge Vow and Declare, on a visit to Kyabram, which was embraced by the town and district and received Australia-wide publicity.

Mr Gould has warned this year’s visit would be low key compared to 2016 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

‘‘What we can and what can’t do to celebrate the occasion will be depend on the coronavirus restrictions at the time but it won’t be and can’t be anything like 2016 when the whole town was involved,’’ Mr Gould said.

Kyabram was applauded for the organisation and response to the 2016 cup visit.

Racing Victoria’s Joe McGrath, co-ordinator of the cup visits, claimed at the time Kyabram was the standout among the towns hosting the cup visits that year.