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Cunnamulla to host Melbourne Cup visit

The Melbourne Cup came to Bourke in 2018, and Aunty Heather Mieni got to hold the Cup and meet with two-time Melbourne Cup winning jockey John Letts. Photo TWH ARCHIVES

The Melbourne Cup will be in Cunnamulla on Tuesday September 19 and Paroo Shire Mayor, Councillor Suzette Beresford, is calling on the community to get involved.

Councillor Beresford said she would like to see a working committee formed to help prepare for the visit and to organise events on the day.

The Melbourne Cup Tour is one of the most important initiatives of the Victoria Racing Carnival and since its inception in 2003, the three-handled Cup has travelled far and wide across Australia and the world, travelling over 900,000 kilometres, visiting more than 590 destinations, engaging with tens of thousands of people and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for local fundraising initiatives.

In 2023, the $200,000 Cup will for the first-time visit Cunnamulla, former home to Darby McCarthy one of Australia’s elite jockeys of the 1960s through to the 1980s.

Cunnamulla and the Paroo Shire has a long and strong racing history spanning back more than 150 years.

Mayor Beresford said that she was grateful to the Cunnamulla & District Diggers Race Club which has maintained a vision of keeping racing alive in the bush.

“Picnic meetings in many locations are a thing of the past but we are proud to say that the commitment by a few have kept the Noorama Picnic Races thriving,” Councillor Beresford said.

“I thank the many people that have contributed to the success of horse racing in our shire and look forward to these great Melbourne Cup celebrations.

“When it comes to horse racing success, we certainly have an extensive list of owners, trainers, jockeys, bookies, stewards, workers and connections to celebrate when the Melbourne Cup visits,” explained Mayor Beresford.

Paroo Shire residents are urged to get along to the meetings, collaborate and help create a memorable event celebrating this exciting occasion.

Should you wish to be part of the working committee, please express your interest via email to

For more details, please see Paroo Shire Council’s website


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