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National Museum displays horse racing treasures

4 November 2011

The National Museum of Australia has acquired two significant trophies presented to winners of the Melbourne Cup.

The 1867 Melbourne cup and Queen's Plate trophies were bought at auction last week for a total price of $720,000 and are now on display at the National Museum in Canberra.

The 1867 Melbourne Cup and Queen's Plate trophies were both won by "Sydney" Tim Whiffler and remained in the family of the original owners until offered for auction.

"These trophies have a magnificent presence. They testify to the way in which, by the 1860s, the Melbourne Cup had already achieved its status as Australia's most highly regarded race, a position it has held ever since," said Andrew Sayers, Director of the National Museum of Australia.

The two trophies will join other significant treasures of the Melbourne Cup in the National Museum's collection including the 1934 Melbourne Cup won by Peter Pan, racing silks worn by Glen Boss on Makybe Diva and the National Museum's most popular object, Phar Lap's heart.

The 1867 Melbourne Cup and Queen's Plate are on display in the Hall of the National Museum.

For interviews, images and more information please contact Dennis Grant on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481; Caroline Vero on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or media@nma.gov.au