Racing Victoria has guaranteed the future of the Jericho Cup concept after announcing it would fund the race from 2022.
Sunday’s Jericho Cup will be the last run with the backing of local philanthropist Bill Gibbins.
Gibbins sponsored the Jericho Cup since its inception in 2018.
Gibbins devised the Jericho Cup concept to mark the centenary of the original Jericho Cup, which was run in the Middle East during World War I.
The original Jericho Cup was run as a ruse to distract the Turkish Army to allow the movement of the Australian Light Horse Brigade to another area.
The modern race is restricted to horses bred in Australia or New Zealand with jumps jockeys only allowed to ride.
Jericho Cup runners are determined through a series of qualifying races across Australia and New Zealand.
Racing Victoria announced it would take over the funding of the Jericho Cup, which is Australia’s longest flat race.
RV will maintain the current prizemoney from the $150,000 winner’s cheque to $4000 for the last of the 14 runners to finish from 2022.
“This announcement is a very important step in safeguarding the future of the Jericho Cup for the Warrnambool Racing Club and Victorian racing,” said RV’s Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter.
“In its short history, the Jericho Cup has already captured the imagination of the racing public and that is largely due to the tireless efforts of its founder, Bill Gibbins.”
Grand National Hurdle winner Wil John will carry the 70kg topweight in Sunday’s edition of the event.
Wil John’s Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained stablemate Heberite shapes as one of his main dangers along with the Symon Wilde-trained pair American In Paris and Beachgoer.
Originally published as Racing Victoria to take over from Bill Gibbins as Jericho Cup backer