The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) is pleased to announce Howden Insurance Brokers (Howden) as its newest sponsor and the official insurance partner of the VRC and the iconic Melbourne Cup Carnival.

As part of the three-year deal, Howden will take up prominent trackside signage at Flemington and will assume naming rights to the Group 1 Howden Australian Guineas (1600m), Australia’s premier autumn three-year-old race and the feature on Howden Australian Guineas Day. The race day is one of Flemington’s three key autumn race days, with 2023 being the highest attended Australian Guineas Day since 2016.

The agreement will also see Howden become an official support partner of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour. Now in its 21st year, the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour is an important community initiative of the VRC that drives local and international engagement with Australia’s most iconic sporting trophy, the 18-carat gold, Lexus Melbourne Cup. To celebrate the new partnership, this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup Day will feature the Howden Desirable Stakes.

As an official partner of Royal Ascot since 2021, the team at Howden have a passion for racing and will entertain guests and clients trackside during the Melbourne Cup Carnival from this year. 

VRC CEO Steve Rosich welcomed Howden to the VRC family.

“The VRC is delighted to have Howden join the list of VRC partners and become the club’s official insurance partner until at least 2026,” stated Rosich.

“We are thrilled to welcome Howden to our stable of outstanding long-term partners including the likes of Lexus, TAB, Penfolds, Furphy and Kennedy, through which we have shared mutual beneficial partnerships with for many years. We pride ourselves on these relationships and look forward to what the future holds with Howden.”

“The Howden Australian Guineas Day is one of the best Group 1 days on the racing calendar at Flemington. We thank Howden for their support of events at Australia’s premier racecourse as well as the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour, which takes the magic of the $600,000 trophy to people across Australia and the world.”

Howden Pacific CEO Matt Bacon welcomed the new partnership with the VRC.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Victoria Racing Club, custodians of Flemington Racecourse and Australia’s greatest racing event the Melbourne Cup Carnival,” stated Bacon.

“This comes after we forged an official partnership with Ascot Racecourse in 2021 and thus it was fitting to join forces with another world-renowned track in Flemington.

“Both VRC and Howden have a passion for racing and the way in which it unites and excites people, so we are delighted to be sharing that through Howden Australian Guineas Day and as support partner of the Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.“Howden has firm plans to expand its presence in Australia and we know the Melbourne Cup Carnival in spring and Flemington Racing Spectacular in autumn has strong reach that will help us grow our brand awareness in the Australian market.”

VRC readies itself for Melbourne Cup

Later this afternoon, Victoria Racing Club (VRC) will host the $8.4 million Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

This year marks three decades of international participation in the biggest Australian event in the racing calendar, with Irish raider Vintage Crop’s 1993 success a watershed moment that opened the contest to the world.

The traditional pre-Lexus Melbourne Cup proceedings and entertainment will take off from 2:25pm with a Welcome to Country from Uncle Colin Hunter Jr before Lexus Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne OAM delivers this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy to VRC Chairman Neil Wilson. Entertainment will be provided by Delta Goodrem and Jon Stevens, while Natalie Imbruglia will take perform the national anthem.

There will also be representatives from each of the 24 rural and regional Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour destinations trackside at Flemington to cheer on their Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour National Sweep allocated horse, with the town which has the Lexus Melbourne Cup-winning horse to be presented with $50,000 to put towards a charity supporting a local community initiative.

While the famed Birdcage will host media, entertainment and sporting entities, The Park precinct bringing will bring together food and entertainment for general admission ticketholders. The food offerings in The Park include a new and exclusive Flemington pop-up, The Ranch. The reimagined Pony Bar will serve the new Flemington Cocktail, the 1861. Created by Crown mixologist Joe Jones, the cocktail is named to celebrate the first running of the Melbourne Cup.

VRC partner activations in The Park include a Penfolds Rosé and Croquet playing field, Furphy Container and Beer Truck, Smirnoff pop-up bar, a Coffee Caravan serving St Remio coffee and the TAB Lobby.

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