IT’S not every day you can hold $175,000 worth of gold in your hands.
But pupils at Mortlake’s St Colman’s Primary School got the chance to do just that when the 2013 Melbourne Cup stopped at the school as part of a nationwide tour.
Principal Michael Saunders said the pupils got a great thrill out of holding the famous tri-handled-trophy, but admitted his heart was in his mouth as two prep pupils donned white gloves to pick it up.
“It was a bit nervewracking. We had to make sure there was another hand to hold the bottom,” he said.
“The kids couldn’t believe how heavy it was.”
Pupils were dressed in their finest race gear for the day, which also included a visit from 1999 Melbourne Cup winner Rogan Josh.
They also had the chance to rub shoulders with legendary jockey Roy Higgins and racing commentator John Russell.
Higgins won the 1965 Melbourne cup on board Light Fingers, and then again in 1967 aboard Red Handed.
“Roy was great with the kids. He told them his stories and was interested to listen to their stories about horses and doing equestrian events,” Mr Saunders said.
The cup then visited Abbeyfield House hostel for afternoon tea with the residents before being the star attraction at a fund-raising event for 150 people last night. It also visited Terang yesterday, visiting residents at the Mount View Nursing Home before being displayed at a community barbecue.
Today the cup will be at the Mortlake College Fete before travelling to Woolsthorpe for a cocktail party at the National Hotel tonight. It will be paraded down Manifold Street at 9.30am tomorrow before arriving at the Woolsthorpe Primary School fete at 10am.