Victoria Racing Club’s Amanda Elliott says she loved holding the Melbourne Cup for the annual parade
Amanda Elliott loved holding the Melbourne Cup so much she didn’t want to let it go.
Should her first Cup runner win Tuesday’s $6 million race, the Victoria Racing Club chairwoman may get to keep the $200,000, 18-carat gold trophy.
Ms Elliott loved every minute she got to show off the Cup to tens of thousands of people lining up to catch a glimpse of their favourite jockey, trainer or past Cup champion in the annual street parade on Monday.
She was meant to share that job with Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle.
“I kept trying to wrestle it from the lord mayor,” she said.
“He kept trying to wrestle it from me.
“I said ‘I’ll give it to you when we arrive. I’m hanging on to it now.”
In her inaugural year overseeing the Melbourne Cup carnival, Ms Elliott’s job on Tuesday will be to hand that trophy to the winning owner.
There is a chance she will be handing the trophy to herself and the other owners of her first Melbourne Cup runner, Libran.
Ms Elliott bought her “tiny share” in Libran through racehorse ownership company Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, after becoming friends with its chairman Harry Herbert.
Libran is the fourth Melbourne Cup runner for Mr Herbert, who grew up in Highclere Castle otherwise known as Downton Abbey in the TV series and the country seat of his older brother, the Earl of Carnarvon.
His brother-in-law John Warren is the Queen’s racing manager, a role previously held by Mr Herbert’s father for 30 years.
As much as the Queen and the English love their racing, British trainer Hugo Palmer could never imagine them shutting down a London street to stage a parade over a horse race.
“It’s been phenomenal. We’ve got nothing like this in England,” the trainer of Cup chance Wall Of Fire said.
“English racing, as strong as it may be, doesn’t have the depth of support across the country that Australian racing does.
“We’ve all been saying to each other ‘imagine trying to do this in London’. I think they’d laugh you out of town if you suggested it.”