Cup visit proves sure win­ner

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

Pil­bara res­i­dents got up close and per­sonal with one of the most fa­mous tro­phies in Aus­tralian sport­ing his­tory on Fri­day when the Emirates Mel­bourne Cup spent a day in Roe­bourne, Cos­sack and Kar­ratha.

As part of its 150th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions, Roe­bourne’s Nor West Jockey Club hosted the 18carat gold tro­phy as one of 31 stops on its 2017 tour around Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

Trav­el­ling with am­bas­sador and long-term Mel­bourne Cup race caller Bryan Martin, the cup be­gan its day with a photo shoot at Kar­ratha’s newly up­graded Tank Hill look­out, where it was joined by its lo­cal coun­ter­part, the Roe­bourne Cup.

Peo­ple had the chance to get their own pic­ture with the tro­phy at the Roe­bourne race­course be­fore it was taken to Set­tlers Beach in Cos­sack — the site of the first Roe­bourne horse races in the 1860s — and then Onyx on Sharpe for a func­tion for spon­sors and guests.

NWJC pres­i­dent Kevin Kin­in­month said the cup’s visit pro­vided a spe­cial op­por­tu­nity to ac­knowl­edge the club’s his­toric 150th year and pro­mote the Ladies’ Day race meet the next day.

“I think (it’s sig­nif­i­cant) be­cause it’s such a spe­cial icon of Aus­tralia,” he said.

“As they say Aus­tralia stops for the Mel­bourne Cup and it’s just the sig­nif­i­cance of that, and that it’s a part of Aus­tralian his­tory and folk­lore.”

“I just think it’s great for the City of Kar­ratha to have it here and at the Roe­bourne races too.”

Martin said as the “peo­ple’s tro­phy” and a sym­bol of a race that cap­tured the at­ten­tion of peo­ple across the coun­try, the cup al­ways had strong draw­ing power.

“Whether you take it to an aged­care cen­tre, to a kinder­garten, to a school, to a com­mu­nity cen­tre or to a race meet­ing — it doesn’t mat­ter where you go, ev­ery­one wants to hold it, ev­ery­one wants to have a piece of it,” he said.

“The race is called the peo­ple’s race, the race that stops the na­tion, so to have peo­ple in­volved and hold this iconic tro­phy is just spe­cial.”

“This is the sym­bol of what it’s all about.”

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said it was ex­cit­ing to have the cup spend a day in the area

“It’s such an icon for Aus­tralia . . . so to have that cup which is worth $200,000 in your hands here in Kar­ratha is quite a re­mark­able ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

“It’s some­thing that’s so fa­mous and it’s so im­por­tant to Aus­tralia, so to have it here in Kar­ratha is just ter­rific.”

Roe­bourne was one of only three lo­ca­tions in WA to host the Mel­bourne Cup on this year’s tour, along with Perth and Ku­nunurra.

The cup has pre­vi­ously vis­ited Kar­ratha in 2015 and 2009.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Perera

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long, Nor West Jockey Club pres­i­dent Kevin Kin­in­month, Mel­bourne Cup Tour am­bas­sador Bryan Martin and Kar­ratha Vis­i­tor Cen­tre co-or­di­na­tor Chantelle Tucker with the Roe­bourne Cup and Emirates Mel­bourne Cup at the Tank Hill look­out.

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