The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) and York Racecourse are to celebrate their close ties with the announcement of a new exciting initiative to further cement their global partnership.

The VRC will provide the winning connections of the £1 million Sky Bet Ebor Handicap with a once-in-a-lifetime experience for two to the 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival. The package includes business class flights, accommodation and money-can’t-buy invitations to special events during Cup Week in Melbourne.

Similarly, York will conduct a public raffle throughout the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival to raise funds for local re-training and re-homing racehorse charity New Beginnings, with the star prize being a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two to Melbourne to enjoy the thrill of Cup Week racing.

The VRC’s celebrated Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour will visit York for the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival on 21-24 August as part of the iconic trophy’s annual journey across Australia and the globe.

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott and the Cup will be there to officially mark the new partnership and present the winners with their prizes alongside York Racecourse.

Mrs Elliott said she was delighted to strengthen the VRC’s bond with York Racecourse and the Sky Bet Ebor Handicap.

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival and the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival are both icons of world racing, and our relationship has always been a strong one,” Mrs Elliott said

“The Ebor Handicap has built a reputation as an important international pathway to the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

“Four of the past five Ebor Handicap winners have gone on to run with tremendous credit in the Cup and we hope to see the 2019 winner at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.”

Mrs Elliott also said the experiences on offer were like no other.

“It is hard to describe the atmosphere at Flemington on Lexus Melbourne Cup Day.

“I’m delighted that four people will get to experience the magic of Cup Week and I thank York Racecourse Chairman Lord Grimthorpe and York Racecourse Chief Executive William Derby for embracing this global partnership between York and the VRC so enthusiastically.”

Chairman of York Racecourse, Lord Grimthorpe, said, “The Lexus Melbourne Cup and Sky Bet Ebor are both steeped in history and heritage and are central to very special weeks in the global racing calendar.

“For the connections of the winning horse in the Sky Bet Ebor to experience Flemington and Melbourne during Cup Week will provide a memory for a lifetime. Similarly, the lucky winner of the New Beginnings raffle will have an amazing reward for their support of a fantastic local equine charity.

“The links between the VRC and York were already strong, yet this initiative takes the partnership to a new level. I am grateful to Victoria Racing Club Chairman Amanda Elliott and her team at the VRC for all their support and we look forward to welcoming them and the Lexus Melbourne Cup to York for the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival next week.”

The 2019 Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York Racecourse runs from Wednesday 21 August until Saturday 24 August, featuring the running of the Sky Bet Ebor.

The 2019 Melbourne Cup Carnival is held from Saturday 2 November 2019 until Saturday 9 November 2019, with Lexus Melbourne Cup Day on Tuesday 5 November 2019. 

2021 Season at a glance

  • Dante Festival | Wed 12 - Fri 14 May
  • First Saturday | Sat 22 May
  • June Meeting | Fri 11 - Sat 12 June
  • Summer Saturday | Sat 26 June
  • John Smith's Cup Meeting | Fri 9 - Sat 10 July
  • Music Showcase Weekend | Fri 23 - Sat 24 July
  • Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival | Wed 18 - Sat 21 August
  • September Sunday | Sun 5 September
  • October Finale | Fri 8 - Sat 9 October