'Virtual' Melbourne Cup show comes to Kangaroo Island for 2020 tour

Kangaroo Island will host the 2020 Melbourne Cup tour on Wednesday, September 23.

Kangaroo Island will host the 2020 Melbourne Cup tour on Wednesday, September 23.

Kangaroo Island will do a special live cross event connecting to Melbourne next Wednesday for the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

The People's Cup will not be coming to KI because of the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions but a live stream will be set up at the Kingscote Town Hall at 1.30pm on Wednesday, September 23.

Cup-winning jockey John Letts (1972 and 1980) is coming over from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island and will be at the town hall, playing host for the virtual tour.

There will be a big screen set up in the hall live streaming from Melbourne, where the cup will be on display along with a couple of racing identities.

Racing Club president Mark Turner encouraged everyone to attend the town hall to meet Johnny Letts in person and see the cup on the big screen.

The Victoria Racing Club earlier this month announced that Kangaroo Island in South Australia will join racing history when it plays host to the virtual 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

Kangaroo Island is the only location in South Australia to be visited by the virtual cup tour, which this year will be visiting other bushfire affected regions around Australia.

The KI Racing Club this month was recognised for its achievements in organsing its cup carnival in the wake of the bushfires.

KI will join 26 other towns and cities across Australia that will be part of the 18th annual tour, which will see the magic of the "People's Cup" shared with towns and communities across the nation.

As a result of the COVID-19 travel restrictions, this year's tour be a combination of physical and virtual visits. The VRC hopes to conduct Victorian visits in October in person, restrictions permitting.

Mr Turner president said the community is looking forward to being part of this year's tour.

"Kangaroo Island Racing Club are very excited to be part of this year's Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour," Mr Turner said.

"2020 has been a very difficult year for Kangaroo Island and we look forward to uniting together and welcoming the tour when it visits."

Kangaroo Island will also be part of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep, which will see 24 rural and regional destinations allocated a barrier for the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup.

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

Bunyip in regional Victoria took home the $50,000 donation last year and put the money towards several community initiatives including assisting with the rebuild of community facilities following the Bunyip State Park fires in March 2019.

VRC chairman Amanda Elliott said it was more important than ever to share the magic of the iconic trophy with Australians.

"This year has been exceptionally challenging for all Australians. Devastating drought and catastrophic bushfires, as well as a global pandemic have contributed to a sense of isolation, uncertainty and in many cases financial hardship. This has amplified the importance of community and connectedness," Mrs Elliott said.

"In the year of the 160th running of our great race, we are looking forward to connecting with people in a very modern way. To be able to share stories, celebrate favourite moments, whilst raising much needed funds for a large range of worthy causes."

As the principal partner of the VRC, Lexus Australia chief executive Scott Thompson said Lexus was honoured to be supporting this year's Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

"Lexus is looking forward to entering its third year as naming rights sponsor of the Lexus Melbourne Cup, and the 18th year of our relationship with the VRC," Mr Thompson said.

"In what has been an incredibly challenging year for our nation, the Lexus Melbourne Cup is the People's Cup and we look forward to playing our part in sharing the iconic trophy with Australians across the nation and supporting fundraising efforts to assist towns big and small to get back on their feet."

Each town will also receive a special keepsake as part the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour's visit, with a miniature gold-plated Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy being gifted by the VRC and Lexus to the community.

Since its beginning, the Tour has travelled more than 700,000 kilometres and visited more than 500 regional, rural and metropolitan destinations.

It has provided communities with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the magic of the Lexus Melbourne Cup and hear the many stories connected with Australia's greatest horse-race.

For further information about the 2020 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour please visit melbournecuptour.com.au