Melbourne Cup trophy 2017 tours Ararat, visiting schools and care homes before being paraded down Barkly Street

THE Melbourne Cup trophy toured Ararat on Monday, visiting schools and care homes before being paraded down Barkly Street.

The festivities kicked off at Gum San Great Hall at 10am, where the cup was on display as part of the Robe to Riches Exhibition.

The cup and its entourage, including security for the 18-carat gold trophy, then visited East Grampians 70 Lowe Street Aged Care Facility.

Residents were given the chance to hold the Melbourne Cup and asks questions of the Victoria Racing Club.

Resident Kay Lofts was able to get her photo taken with the cup.

It was the first time she had seen the cup in person.

“I’ve been looking forward to it,” she said.

“I always watch the Melbourne Cup and place a bet on all the races.

“My son-in-law brings me the form guide and I pick the horses.”

The cup then gathered with members of the Grampians Vintage Vehicles Club and Ararat police for a parade down Barkly Street from Edith Cavell Memorial Reserve to to Alexandra Oval Community Centre 

School students gathered for lunch at the Community Centre and a chance to experience the cup up close.

The cup also toured Ararat Retirement Village before returning to its host club, the Ararat Turf Club.

Ararat Turf Club manager Adam Atchison said it was pretty emotion to be given the chance to host the Melbourne cup during its tour of Melbourne and New Zealand.

“There were 31 towns that were successful in tendering for the tour, and we were one of them,” he said.

“I think there were only four Victoria towns.

“It’s been great. Brooke Jess on our committee applied and put the tender in and we were successful.

“It brings another event to Ararat. What the Club and ourselves are all about is putting Ararat on the map and get ans many people as possible to Ararat.”

Two-time Melbourne Cup winning trainer Mick Robins joined the trophy on its tour of Ararat.

“Bringing it to retirement homes and schools gives them a chance to see it,” he said.

“People who go to Melbourne Cup day don’t get to have their photo with it, just the owner of the horse who wins.”