First-ever Jericho Cup WA qualifier to be held in Albany on Anzac weekend over 3100m in new racing venture

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
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Albany Racing Club general manager Mark Bayliss amongst Albany’s rich Anzac history.
Camera IconAlbany Racing Club general manager Mark Bayliss amongst Albany’s rich Anzac history. Credit: Laurie Benson

Albany will be part of a historic new WA racing venture on Monday, with the $100,000 ‘The Road To Jericho’ WA Qualifier (3100m) to be run at Percy Spencer Racecourse.

The Jericho Cup is run at Warrnambool every year and was first contested in 1918, holding significant war links after arguably Australia’s greatest ever war horse, Bill The Bastard, won the first instalment.

Albany is the first track in WA to hold the Jericho Cup qualifier.

The winner of the Albany qualifier will gain an automatic start in the Jericho Cup to be run in late 2021 as part of the Warrnambool carnival, while Racing and Wagering WA will provide $20,000 to help with travel expenses for horse and trainer to make the trip to Victoria.

Albany Light horse Troops at Albany Racing Club.
Camera IconAlbany Light horse Troops at Albany Racing Club. Credit: Racing and Wagering WA

Every race of 3000m 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, while a number of other events are declared guaranteed start races, including the Albany event.

The Albany qualifier will be run over 3100, two circuits of Percy Spencer Racecourse and will be run as a 66+ handicap race.

Albany trainer Roy Rogers will have a three-pronged attack in the staying feature race as he looks to book his place in the Jericho Cup final, which is run over 4600m and boasts $304,000 in prize money.

The in-form local trainer will saddle up Go It Alone, Classic Jack, and Catchya Catchya in the final field of 13.

Top hoop Chris Parnham will ride Go It Alone, Chris Nicoll takes the ride on Classic Jack and Jason Whiting will steer Catchya Catchya.

Classic Jack will be one of three local starters in the WA Jericho Cup qualifier.
Camera IconClassic Jack will be one of three local starters in the WA Jericho Cup qualifier. Credit: Taj Stubber

“It’s great to have three horses in the race and it’s a great incentive for WA racing,” Rogers said.

“Hopefully it puts us on the world stage with a big audience watching.

“We are a rough chance, I’m not overly confident but you have to have a go at these sort of races when they come about.

“When it came up that we would hold this qualifier, it only suits horses on the rise because it’s only a 66+ and you are not sure if they can run the trip but you have to wait and see.

“Hopefully it elevates the club to the next level and it’s attracted the best jockeys in WA which people want to see.”

Champion jockey William Pike will ride top-weight Final Chill who is looking to make it four wins in a line while Red Hot Tip, Queen Takes King and Friar Away are the other runners above the minimum 54kg.

Brad Rawiller is making the trip to the Great Southern to ride the Stephen Miller-trained Red Hot Tip while Joseph Azzopardi rides Queen Takes King trained by Lindsey Smith and Shaun O’Donnell takes the mount on Friar Away.

Percy Spencer Racecourse is gearing up to hold the $100,000 ‘The Road To Jericho’ WA Qualifier on Monday.
Camera IconPercy Spencer Racecourse is gearing up to hold the $100,000 ‘The Road To Jericho’ WA Qualifier on Monday. Credit: Laurie Benson

Hyperspace is also entered for top metro stable Darren McAuliffe.

There will be an eight-race program on Monday.

Albany Racing Club General Manager Mark Bayliss said it was 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,” Bayliss 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.”

The race will be run at 4pm.

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