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New Zealand-trained horses will get their chance to qualify for this year’s $300,000 Jericho Cup, Australia’s longest flat race.
The Jericho Cup, first run on the desert sands of Palestine in 1918, was revived last year and staged over 4600m at Warrnambool in Victoria, with the event commemorating Australia and New Zealand’s light horse involvement in World War I.
The race, run under benchmark 90 handicap conditions, is restricted to horses conceived and born in Australia or New Zealand and is the brainchild of Bill Gibbins.
The 2018 race was won by the Anthony Freedman-trained High Mode.
On Wednesday, Racing Victoria (RV) and New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) announced the concept will be expanded this year to give New Zealand-trained horses the chance to qualify for the 2019 Jericho Cup at Warrnambool on December 1.
A race over 3210m at Taranaki Racecourse in New Zealand on September 28 will provide a ballot exemption to the winner, while the placegetters will receive double points towards qualifying.
It is one of seven races – the other six are run in Australia – offering a guaranteed start in the Jericho Cup.