Melbourne Cup Tour stops off in Port Augusta

The 1950 Melbourne Cup spent the weekend seeing the sights of Port Augusta as part of the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour.

This year's Melbourne Cup was planned to make the journey, but due to border restriction concerns because of recent COVID-19 outbreaks the 1950 cup was sent in its place.

Legendary South Australian jockey John 'Johnny' Letts was with the cup for the day, telling stories of his many experiences in the racing industry and taking photos with fans.

The first stop of the day was at the Port Augusta railway station where it boarded the Pichi Richi Railway Afghan Express steam train.

It then visited the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden for lunch, giving locals a photo opportunity in the quintessential Port Augusta landscape.

The cup finished its day at the Port Augusta Racing Club cup eve dinner, where Victoria Racing Club representatives appearing via web video conference to tell racing tales with Johnny Letts and show some archive footage of the 1950 Melbourne Cup.

The 1950 cup had been requested as it was an important year for South Australian racing, with the horse Comic Court, jockey Pat Glennon and trainer Jim Cummings all coming from the state.

It was the first public appearance the Melbourne Cup had made since it was first won, as it has been sitting in the owner's family bank vault since 1950.

A security guard followed the cup wherever it went, with a watchful eye ensuring its safety while assisting members of the public with their photographs.