Belmont Gold Cup To Serve As International Qualifier For Melbourne Cup

Siskany | Chelsea Durand

The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) have formed an agreement that the GII Belmont Gold Cup, slated for Thursday, June 6 at Saratoga Race Course, will be a 'Golden Ticket' event offering the winner an automatic berth into the G1 Lexus Melbourne Cup, NYRA said in a Friday release.

The new partnership will provide the winner of the Belmont Gold Cup, a two-mile test for older horses, a place in the starting gate for the Lexus Melbourne Cup on Nov. 5, 2024, at Flemington Racecourse in Victoria, Australia.

The Belmont Gold Cup headlines opening day of the four-day 2024 Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, which will be held at Saratoga Race Course from Thursday, June 6 through Sunday, June 9.

Flemington Racecourse announcer Matt Hill will travel to Saratoga to call the race and will bring the 2024 Lexus Melbourne Cup trophy along with him. The 18-carat (gold) trophy has its own travel documentation to ensure it is exempt from export laws and taxes, and will be available for photo opportunities with fans throughout the live racing program on Thursday, June 6. The Cup is created from 34 gold pieces with over 200 hours craftsmanship and is valued at AUD$600,000.

Godolphin's British homebred Siskany (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}), trained by Lexus Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Charlie Appleby, won last year's Belmont Gold Cup and is slated to return to New York for the race.

“The Belmont Gold Cup has proven to be a strong race, attracting top marathon horses from North America and across Europe,” said NYRA Senior Vice-President of Racing and Operations, Andrew Offerman. “The addition of a 'Golden Ticket' to compete in one of the world's preeminent turf races only serves to heighten the profile of what is sure to be an exciting Festival in Saratoga.”

VRC Executive General Manager Racing, Leigh Jordon, said, “The introduction of the Belmont Gold Cup as a golden ticket opens up another pathway for international staying horses to compete in the Lexus Melbourne Cup. The race is an already established international contest and we look forward to potentially welcoming this year's winner to Melbourne in the spring.”

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