The Melbourne Cup Tour is superbly orchestrated to take the Cup to the People, in all parts of Australia as well as around the world. Esprit Racing’s own Sheila Laxon, having won the 2001 Melbourne Cup with Ethereal, is thrilled to be one of the Tour Ambassadors, travelling to many venues to show the public the actual Cup that will be presented on the First Tuesday in November.

This year Sheila was part of the Alice Springs – Adelaide Ghan Cup Tour which took in many aspects of the Australian country en route, initially taking a ride on a camel’s back on arrival in that part of the world and then being present for the Alice Springs Race Club Awards Night.

Part of this tour visited Saint Therese, an indigenous community living some hours away from Alice Springs and producing some gorgeous Aboriginal artworks. The Cup also took part in the one and only Australian race meeting that could be held up for three hours when the ‘race’ horses were difficult to locate and catch, while roaming free in the outback! While we were waiting, the children competed in races up the straight to entertain us all!

The Cup was also displayed at a fabulous BBQ in the Australian outback with the over 500 guests who journeying on The Ghan from Darwin to Adelaide. That was an especially surreal evening, with a band playing under the beautifully starry night (the best sighting of stars in the World because of the clarity of the air apparently!!).

The Ghan visited the Opal Mines in Cooper Pedy, which were a sight to be seen, and an amazing area to visit, with lunch underground as well as viewing some of the lovely opals on sale there. Many of the houses are also built underground to keep cool in the heat of the summer, quite incredible to see.

The Ghan also followed the Dingo fence, the longest structure built in the world, just incredible to think that anyone attempted to undertake such a forbidding task and it is still kept intact at some $10,000,000 cost a year!

Arriving in Adelaide three days after leaving Alice Springs, it was interesting to view the changing countryside from the Ghan’s windows. All the crew took the opportunity of having their photos taken with the 2017 Melbourne Cup, so well won by Lloyd William’s Irish import, Rekindling.