Despite a likely lack of spectators at the usually popular Jericho Cup meeting at Warrnambool on November 29, plans are well in train for the running of the nation’s longest flat race.
This is the third year of a four-year commitment from passionate Melbourne racing fan and philanthropist Bill Gibbins to honour Australia’s light horsemen and their mounts with the $300,000 race over 4600 metres.
“It’s full steam ahead,” Gibbins said this week. “We won’t have crowd numbers like in 2018 and 2019 but it’s still going on.
“It’s disappointing there won’t be a big crowd but we all know the reasons why and we’ve just got to wear it.
“The number of people who’ve shown interest in the event from around Australia and elsewhere is quite staggering.
“I’d say the 2021 Jericho Cup will be the biggest ever if we’re allowed to have crowds back on course but for this year we’ve just got to keep the momentum going.”
The Jericho Cup is the culmination of a series of staying races, in which the first Australasian-bred horse over the line gains automatic entry to the 2020 Jericho Cup field, while the second and third Australasian-bred horses over the line earn double points towards a start.
Those races in Australia this year are at Penola (September 27), Gawler (October 23), The Valley (November 13) and Canberra (November 15) with NZ races at New Plymouth (September 26) and Riccarton (October 24).
Break for Good Yarn
Veteran Warrnambool trainer Merv McKenzie has decided to spell his handy sprinter A Good Yarn after a consistent campaign.
From seven runs this preparation A Good Yarn collected prizemoney five times, winning once.
McKenzie said the seven-year-old was hard to place because of his consistency.
McKenzie said the gelding would have a month in the paddock, returning for races over the Christmas period.
From 24 starts A Good Yarn has six wins, seven minor placings and $152,580.
Meanwhile, stablemate Big Reel will resume at The Valley on October 3.
Beaten but unbowed
Warrnambool galloper Tydeus failed in his bid to complete a hat-trick at Flemington last Saturday but trainer Lindsey Smith wasn’t disappointed by the three-year-old’s Danehill Stakes run.
Tydeus finished in ninth spot, just over five lengths behind Doubtland, in the Group 2 race.
“Tydeus has come a long way in three runs,” Smith said. “He was running against some top-class three-year-olds. It was a big jump in class from Warrnambool and Bendigo to a Group 2 race.
“We’ll see how he pulls up before making any plans for his next start.”
Tydeus has won $57,250 from his three runs.
Not Available: unplaced in a maiden at Warracknabeal last Saturday but his effort was good. He should be very competitive in a maiden over 1400 metres.
Ginny Ann: consistent Warrnambool galloper who had no luck in running third at Warracknabeal. The mare has placed at each of her past five starts and has been unlucky in several of those.