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Melbourne Cup trophy stops at NSW school
Rashida Yosufzai
16:29 AEST Tue Oct 9 2012

The Melbourne Cup trophy has made a brief stopover at a Sydney primary school where it may just have inspired a new generation of kids into the racing industry.

The Cup, a hand-riveted $175,000 creation by Hardy Brothers, was brought to West Ryde Primary School in Sydney's north west on Tuesday as part of a national tour of local communities to celebrate the race that will stop a nation on November 6.

The school's grounds were transformed into a mini racecourse, hosting jockey races, celebratory podiums and high-tea marquees for teachers and parents.

Students and parents were given the opportunity to handle the Cup - wearing protective silk gloves, of course.

Ten-year-old Alex Whitney was among the lucky few given the opportunity to hold the Cup.

He said he was excited about the upcoming race and would select a horse based on its name.

"If I win, I'll put the money in the bank," he said.

Former champion jockey Greg Hall delivered a speech to the pupils recounting his excitement in winning the coveted Cup in 1992 aboard Subzero.

"You've got so many emotions running through you and it's sort of unexplainable," he told AAP afterwards.

"As a kid you always dream of winning one, but your dreams don't often come true. To win it is fantastic."

Hall said the tour was important in educating and inspiring a new generation into the industry.

"You never know, one day one of these kids might be a jockey and say, `I remember when I was eight years of age and I'd seen that Melbourne Cup'.

"It might be a good story, wouldn't it, if one of these kids won one."

But he was concerned there could be a lack of jockeys in the future.

"It's not an easy gig being a jockey and kids these days are quite big...it's all about computers and playstations," Hall said.

"And you worry that you're not getting enough jockeys through the system."

He said it was a rarity to have racing `within the blood' but added he was confident his jockey son Nicholas could deliver a second Cup win for the family - either this year or in the future.

Nick Hall rides a lot of horses for owner Lloyd Williams who has several Cups chances this spring.

"I'm the only one with a Melbourne Cup at the moment, but I think Nick, my boy, might outdo me," Hall said.

"I'm pretty sure he'll win one. He'll have a decent ride too because of Lloyd Williams."

At the end of the stopover, the Cup may have had just the right effect on the pupils.

"I guess it has inspired the little kids, because they really seem to like the idea of horseriding," West Ryde Primary school captain Bhashine Baskaran said.


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