A field of 12 set to run in Jericho Cup

John Allen.
Group One-winning jockey John Allen will be among several recognised Flat riders in the Jericho Cup.

Australia’s longest Flat race has attracted a capacity field of 12 plus four emergencies for its inaugural running at Warrnambool.

The Jericho Cup will be run over 4600m on Sunday and raced on the course proper and through the paddocks that form part of May’s Grand Annual Steeplechase course.

Sunday’s race is restricted to jockeys registered to ride over jumps but includes recognised Flat riders John Allen, Jamie Mott, Tom Sadler and Clayton Douglas.

The brainchild of Victorian trucking magnate Bill Gibbins, the Jericho Cup marks the 100th anniversary of the first Jericho Cup which was staged during World War I in Palestine.

The race will commemorate the servicemen, women and walers – the mounts of the Australian Light Horse Brigade – who served in the Middle East and restricted to Australian and New Zealand-bred horses.

May’s Grand Annual winner Gold Medals will carry the number one saddlecloth and lump 70kg from barrier six over the gruelling journey.

The gelding’s trainer Symon Wilde also saddles the second topweight Doc Holliday while Australia’s leading trainer Darren Weir has two runners in last start Moonee Valley winner Truly High and the Allen-ridden Penthouse Playboy.

Anthony Freedman saddles High Mode who has drawn barrier 15.

A consolation race over 4065m to be run on the course proper will be staged for horses which accepted for the Jericho Cup but did not gain a start.