The inaugural Jericho Cup

THE JERICHO CUP

* The inaugural $300,000 Jericho Cup is being held at Warrnambool in Victoria on Sunday

* At 4600m it is the longest flat race at a registered meeting for highweight riders

* It marks 100 years since the Australian Light Horse Brigade staged the race in Palestine during World War I

* The race is the brain child of Victorian trucking magnate Bill Gibbins, who has committed $1 million over four years

* He came upon the idea after reading Bill The Bastard, a book on Australia’s famed war horse, by historian Roland Perry (2012)

* Only Australian and New Zealand-bred horses can qualify

HISTORY

* The original Jericho Cup was run in September 1918 over three miles of desert sand

* It was won by a horse named Bill The Bastard, ridden bareback by Aboriginal light horseman Jackie Mullgha

* The race was held to distract enemy Turkish forces on the eve of a major Australian offensive, the charge of the Light Horse at Beersheba in 1917

* It was named after the city of Jericho where the ALH centred its desert campaign