Cup to can­ter into town

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS -

Manawatu has ‘‘won’’ the Emi­rates Mel­bourne Cup, and Palmer­ston North hos­pi­tal pa­tients in par­tic­u­lar can bet that ‘‘their cup will run­neth over’’.

On its 34-stop tour of Aus­trala­sia, only a tri­fecta of New Zealand cen­tres have ‘‘brought the Cup home’’, with Manawatu join­ing Auck­land and Hawkes Bay as tem­po­rary hosts of the ex­clu­sive $175,000 tro­phy.

The suc­cess­ful des­ti­na­tions were se­lected on the ba­sis of their pas­sion for rac­ing, his­tor­i­cal links to the Mel­bourne Cup and ded­i­ca­tion to the com­mu­nity.

On dis­play in Palmer­ston North and Feild­ing on July 21, the 18-carat gold cup, and pride of south­ern hemi­sphere horse rac­ing, has been made us­ing gold mined in New South Wales.

Vic­to­ria Rac­ing Club chief ex­ec­u­tive Si­mon Love says Manawatu was se­lected be­cause Palmer­ston North’s Rac­ing at Awa­puni Com­bined En­ter­prise (RACE), had pre­sented a sched­ule of ‘‘ac­tiv­i­ties for the en­tire com­mu­nity to en­joy while the Cup is in town’’.

RACE chief ex­ec­u­tive Alas­dair Robert­son reck­ons the gal­lop­ing visit is go­ing to pro­vide an ‘‘un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence’’ and ‘‘a unique op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate our re­gion’s rich rac­ing his­tory’’.

‘‘Two Mel­bourne Cup win­ners, Hi Jinx and Sil­ver Knight have been trained at our Awa­puni venue, and host­ing the Cup is a great op­por­tu­nity to tell their sto­ries again.’’

The Cup will be dis­played in the morn­ing at Te Manawa, be­fore be­ing ‘‘guest of hon­our’’ at Hokowhitu’s The Fat Farmer for a char­ity luncheon to raise funds for new dial­y­sis equip­ment.

Af­ter the meal, it will be es­corted through Palmer­ston North Hos­pi­tal wards, and from 6pm to 7pm, can be viewed at The Strong Room in Feild­ing.

‘‘Ev­ery­one can go to that, and have pho­tos with it, and with the kids.’’

The event would help gen­er­ate pub­lic in­ter­est and mo­men­tum for the great Novem­ber horse race, a planned Gold Cup rac­ing fes­ti­val in Palmer­ston North in April next year, and re­de­vel­op­ments planned for the Awa­puni race­course, says RACE mar­ket­ing man­ager Mel Tre­week.

PHOTO: FAIR­FAX NZ

The Emi­rates Mel­bourne Cup is pay­ing Palmer­ston North a fly­ing visit next month.

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