The Jericho Cup, Australia’s longest flat race, has been run annually since 2018 on the fourth Sunday after the Melbourne Cup. The legendary race was revived after a century in its centenary year, and its latest rendition promises to be quite the spectacle.
To make the Jericho Cup even more interesting, Australian fixed price bookmaker, TAB, has now come out with the betting offer for the gruelling 4600-metre race.
Joint-Favourites for the Podium
The Jericho Cup is a $300,000 event that is run at Warrnambool, and going by TAB’s odds, this year’s race will be quite tight. This is because both Frenzied and Wil John are named as joint-favourites to win the race come Sunday. Both competitors are priced at $4.50, and both come into the race in top form.
Sydney-based Frenzied won the Canberra Road To The Jericho, and that’s how he booked his place in the Warrnambool event. On the other hand, Wil John is the winner of the 3,800-metre benchmark 70 handicap at Ararat. Both horses are evenly matched and those that follow are not far behind too.
Dambula, the third favourite, will be hot on the heels of Frenzied and Wil John. He is priced at $5 and is Wil John’s stablemate. However, unlike Wil John, Dambula lost his last two starts.
Alienated and Matas come as the fourth and fifth favourites to win and stand at $11, while Britannicus and Da Deputy are priced at $13. Jukila and Periscope are $15 to win, while Golden Flag, last year’s runner-up is priced at $17.
Based on a World War I Story
The Jericho Cup is Australia’s longest flat race, but it is also one of the horse racing events that come with a very interesting back story that dates back to World War I.
According to the Jericho Cup website, near the end of World War I, the Australian Light Horse were trying to surprise the Turkish Empire troops with a major offensive.
However, to give the enemy a false sense of security, they had to make them believe that it was business as usual and that nothing was afoot. To do this, they organized a race event on the eve of the assault thus indicating that they had no offensive plans scheduled for the next morning.
The race they organized was called the Jericho Cup and it was 3 miles long. It was run through the desert and the legendary Bill the Bastard, the greatest Australian warhorse, won.
Bill the Bastard’s heroic feats are recorded in a book by famed historian Professor Roland Perry. There is a whole chapter dedicated to the Jericho Cup called The Ruse, and the story is as inspirational as it is exciting. If the event on Sunday is half as impressive as Bill the Bastard’s exploits, we will be in for quite a race.