High Mode wins the Jericho Cup (Image: Racing Photos)

Canberra set to host its first Jericho Cup qualifier

For the first time this year, the Canberra Racing Club will stage a ‘win and you’re in’ race for the second edition of the $300,000 Haymes Paint Jericho Cup (4600m), which returns to Warrnambool on Sunday, 1 December.

The 2018 edition of the Jericho Cup, which was held 100 years after famed whaler ‘Bill The Bastard’ won the inaugural running of the race in the desert sands of Jericho during World War One, was taken out by the Anthony Freedman-trained stayer High Mode.

In a bid to build on the success of last year’s event, a number of new qualifying races have been introduced in 2019 including the Road to Jericho Benchmark 85 Handicap (3400m) at Thoroughbred Park, in Canberra, on Sunday November 17.

The race will carry a prizefund of $25,000 but, more significantly, the winner will be guaranteed a start in the second running of the Jericho Cup at Warrnambool.  

The Jericho Cup was the brainchild of philanthropist Bill Gibbins, who believes that the city of Canberra is a fitting host for the new qualifying race given that the country’s capital is home to the Australian War Memorial.

“I would like to thank the Canberra Racing Club for the enthusiasm they have shown in wanting to play a part in the Jericho Cup this year,” said Gibbins.

“The incentive of a guaranteed start in the second running of the $300,000 Jericho Cup should attract a highly-competitive field, and we look forward to welcoming the first winner of Canberra’s Road to Jericho race to Warrnambool on 1 December.”

Racing Victoria’s (RV) Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter, said: “I would like to congratulate the Canberra Racing Club and Bill Gibbins on this new initiative.

“The inaugural edition of the Jericho Cup was an outstanding event, and I have no doubt the second running will enhance the story of this great concept.”

Canberra Racing Club CEO, Andrew Clark, said: “The club is very excited to be working with Racing Victoria and the Managing Director of the Jericho Cup, Bill Gibbins. As Canberra is home to the Australian War Memorial, Thoroughbred Park is the ideal location to partner with the Jericho Cup and honour the Australian Light Horse.”

Nominations for the Jericho Cup, which is only open to racehorses bred in Australia and New Zealand, will close at 12pm (AEST) on Tuesday, 19 November, with race acceptances taken at 12pm the following Tuesday (26 November). 

For more information about the Jericho Cup, click here