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People’s Cup could mean win for FNQ Hospital Foundation

A CAIRNS charity is in the running to win $50,000 if the Melbourne Cup goes well tomorrow as part of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep.

The People’s Cup added a golden touch to the 2023 Cairns Amateurs Carnival in September when it stopped by as part of the regional Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour and, despite drawing barrier 12 and a NZ runner with long odds, it gives FNQ a one-in-24 chance of winning $50,000.

The final field for the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep was locked in on Saturday 4 November following the official barrier draw for the Lexus Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, 31 October 2023.

The national sweep is an initiative that sees 24 rural and regional Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour destinations across Australia allocated a starting gate for ‘the race that stops a nation’, the 2023 Lexus Melbourne Cup.  

The town that draws the barrier of the eventual Lexus Melbourne Cup-winning horse will be presented with a cash prize of $50,000 towards a registered charity for a local community initiative. 

Cairns Amateurs Carnival President David Goodman said fingers and toes are crossed for Tuesday’s race and a winning outcome for health in Far North Queensland.

“It would be a fantastic end to our three-year charitable partnership with the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation, which has already contributed $78,595 to improving the region’s health care,” Mr Goodman said.

Destination representatives are being flown to Melbourne to watch the Lexus Melbourne Cup live at Flemington and to cheer the horse running in their town’s allocated barrier. 

The Cairns Amateurs Carnival publicist Pip Miller will fly the flag for Cairns and the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation as a Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour guest, cheering on horse number 12, Daqiansweet Junior (NZ) from barrier 12. 

While currently showing the longest odds at $81, the NZ stayer has already won at the 3200m distance and having placed sixth in last year’s Cup, is tipped with a “rough first four chance” (The Sunday Mail, 5 Nov 2023).  

Gold Coast took home the $50,000 donation in 2022 when Gold Trip stormed home to win the Lexus Melbourne Cup from barrier 13.  

VRC Chairman Neil Wilson said the club looked forward to welcoming the 24 national sweep representatives to Flemington on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day. 

“Since its inception, the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour has travelled to over 600 destinations and helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity and community initiatives,” Mr Wilson said. 

“The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep is an important annual VRC event, and we look forward to welcoming all 24 town representatives to Flemington to be part of the magic of Lexus Melbourne Cup Day.  

“This is the fifth year of the national sweep, and we are delighted to see the $50,000 prize go to meaningful programs in the past four years, such as the Royal Flying Doctors in Kangaroo Island, Sunshine in Bendigo and various local initiatives in Bunyip and Gold Coast. 

“We can’t wait to congratulate the winning town and see which charity this year’s donation goes towards.” 

The 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival kicked off with Penfolds Victoria Derby Day on Saturday, 4 November, followed by Lexus Melbourne Cup Day Tuesday, 7 November 7, Kennedy Oaks Day on Thursday, 9 November, and TAB Champions Stakes Day on Saturday, 11 November. 

Melbourne Cup Carnival tickets can be purchased via www.vrc.com.au.           

All the 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival action can be seen live and free on 10 and 10 Play.   

Keep up with the latest news in Cairns and the Far North, and check out some of our top stories this week: Grants to empower seven local community groups and Sibling entrepreneur duo take over Cairns events scene.

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