Albany Racing Club will host ‘The Road to Jericho’ Western Australia qualifier this Monday 26 April where the winner will be guaranteed a start in the Jericho Cup at Warrnambool Racecourse in Victoria.
The $100,000 race in Albany is one of several guaranteed start races hosted around the country, with all winners being sent to compete in the Jericho Cup, which has a rich history.
The Jericho Cup, fondly known as the ‘race for the battlers’, was first held in 1918.
Today, it is a feature race run over 4,600 metres with $304,000 in prizemoney, to honour Australia’s World War I heroes.
In addition to the race itself at the Albany Racing Club, there will be a variety of on-course activities to recognise ANZAC Day including a two-lane entry through cabanas with ANZAC Day themed displays, trade stalls, the 10th Light Horse Troop, an open pit-fire, raising of the flag and two-up after the races.
Racing and Wagering Western Australia’s (RWWA) Community TAB program will be matching the donations collected on the day for the Albany RSLWA up to $5,000.
Albany Racing Club General Manager Mark Bayliss said it is an honour for Albany to host the qualifier.
“Is it very exciting to have this event in Albany and it is a privilege to help continue the long-standing tradition that the Jericho Cup holds in Australia,” Mark said.
“With ANZAC Day on the Sunday there will be lots of people travelling to Albany for the weekend, so we really hope everyone can get behind the race day and we can draw a big crowd.”
Building on Albany’s connection to the ANZAC’s, the race will celebrate the history of the Jericho Cup, a race meeting originally conducted on the eve of a major offensive by the Australian Light Horse against the Turkish Empire towards the end of World War I.
In addition to the declared guaranteed start races, every race of 3,000 metres or more in Australia and New Zealand has points awarded to the first three Australasian bred horses over the line in the 12 months leading up to the Jericho Cup.
RWWA General Manager Racing Charlotte Mills said this is an excellent opportunity for a local horse to represent WA interstate.
“RWWA is thrilled for WA to host a qualifier, and there is no better place than Albany being so entrenched in ANZAC history,” Charlotte said.
“The qualifier at Albany represents a major piece of history in our State, as well as the long history of horse racing in Australia.”
“RWWA will be providing a $20,000 horse travel subsidy for the winner of the Albany qualifier to support its journey to the East.”
Both the Albany Qualifier and Jericho Cup in Victoria are restricted to horses bred in Australia or New Zealand only.
The Albany ‘The Road to Jericho’ qualifier will be run as a Rtg 66+ Handicap over 3100 metres.