Lexus Melbourne Cup visits New Zealand contender on tour

The iconic Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy has continued its global tour, venturing across the Tasman Sea to visit Auckland and Cambridge in New Zealand as part of the 22nd annual Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour. 

As part of the international journey, the $750,000 18-carat-gold trophy ventured south to Cambridge to attend track work before visiting New Zealand trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood, and their 2024 Lexus Melbourne Cup contender Mark Twain.

Mark Twain secured his spot in the “race that stops a nation”™ when he won the Listed Lexus Roy Higgins at Flemington Racecourse earlier this year. The Lexus Roy Higgins is one of four Flemington staying races that offers the winner ‘win and you’re in’ status into the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

Trainer Roger James said he is delighted to have a runner in the 2024 Lexus Melbourne Cup.

“If there's one race in Australasia or the Southern Hemisphere that non racing people have heard of, it's the Melbourne Cup,” Mr James said.

"To be able to train the winner of the race would be phenomenal, it would be something in my career that I could be remembered for. We’ve been lucky to win some good races but to win the Melbourne Cup would top it all off.” 

The Lexus Melbourne Cup and Damien Oliver at Cambridge Stud, picture VRC

The cup then made the journey to Matamata where it attended track work to visit key racing participants including Jim Gibbs, the part-owner and former trainer of 1995 Lexus Melbourne Cup winner Doriemus.

“I made the Hall of Fame in New Zealand which was a very nice honour and had a lot of nice horses, but I’d have to put Doriemus and that win right at the top,” Mr Gibbs said.

Three-time Lexus Melbourne Cup winning jockey and Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour Ambassador Damien Oliver accompanied the trophy on its journey.

“It’s been very special to be part of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour’s visit to New Zealand and share the trophy with a country that has their own great history with the Cup,” Mr Oliver said. 

“I also have a great connection to New Zealand through my first Lexus Melbourne Cup win with Doriemus in 1995, which is nearly 30 years ago so it has been great to reflect on that moment and celebrate it with people such as Jim Gibbs.”

As part of the tour, the trophy also attended a special Lexus Melbourne Cup themed assembly at Taumata Primary School in Tauranga and the New Zealand Warriors and Brisbane Broncos NRL match in Auckland. The trophy concluded its visit of New Zealand at a special event at Lexus of Auckland City, where customers had the once-in-a-life-time opportunity to get up close with the coveted trophy.

Next the iconic trophy will return to Australia to visit Boorowa in regional New South Wales alongside 36-time Lexus Melbourne Cup race caller and Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour Ambassador Greg Miles.

This year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour will see the iconic trophy travel to 39 destinations, with the final route spanning six countries including Australia, Japan, USA, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Ireland.

Since its inaugural journey in 2003, the tour has travelled over one million kilometres, visiting more than 640 destinations to unite communities and provide a once-in-life-time opportunity to get up close and experience the magic of the People’s Cup. This includes visiting 482 schools, 401 hospitals and aged care facilities, participating in over 2100 community events and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for local fundraising initiatives.



Friday 31 May – Tuesday 4 June TOKYO (JPN)
Thursday 6 June – Saturday 8 June NEW YORK (USA)
Friday 28 June COWES (VIC)*
Sunday 30 June – Monday 1 July CAMBRIDGE (NZ)
Wednesday 3 July AUCKLAND (NZ)
Monday 8 July BOOROWA (NSW)*
Wednesday 10 July BARELLAN (NSW)*
Monday 15 July DARWIN (NT)
Tuesday 16 July – Wednesday 18 July TENNANT CREEK (NT)*
Friday 19 July – Saturday 20 July KATHERINE (NT)*
Tuesday 23 July ROWELLA (TAS)*
Wednesday 24 July HOBART (TAS)
Friday 26 July – Monday 29 July LONDON (UK)
Tuesday 30 July – Thursday 1 August CHICHESTER (GOODWOOD FESTIVAL) (UK)
Friday 2 August – Saturday 3 August GALWAY (SUMMER FESTIVAL) (IRE)
Monday 5 August -Tuesday 6 August DUBLIN (IRE)
Wednesday 14 August WYALKATCHEM (WA)*
Thursday 15 August PERTH (WA)
Saturday 17 August ESPERANCE (WA)*
Tuesday 20 August CASSOWARY COAST (QLD)*
Thursday 22 August GREGORY (QLD)*
Saturday 24 August TAREE (NSW)*
Wednesday 28 August ALPINE SHIRE (VIC)*
Friday 30 August MT WYCHEPROOF (VIC)*
Sunday 1 September – Friday 5 September SYDNEY (NSW)
Sunday 8 September EMERALD (QLD)*
Friday 13 September BRISBANE (QLD)
Tuesday 17 September PORT LINCOLN (SA)*
Thursday 19 September – Friday 20 September MURRAY BRIDGE (SA)*
Saturday 21 September ADELAIDE (SA)
Sunday 22 September CLARE (SA)*
Friday 4 October ROCHESTER (VIC)*
Saturday 5 October NATHALIA (VIC)*
Wednesday 9 October WOODSIDE (VIC)*
Wednesday 16 October TRENTHAM (VIC)*
Thursday 17 October LANCEFIELD (VIC)*
Friday 18 October – Monday 4 November MELBOURNE (VIC)