Warrnambool Racing Club to host $300,000 Jericho Cup in November

Steward James Hitchcock. Picture: Morgan Hancock
Steward James Hitchcock. Picture: Morgan Hancock

RACING Victoria stewards gave the thumbs up for the $300,000 Jericho Cup to be run on the flat over 4600 metres at Warrnambool in November 2018, after four locally trained horses trialled on part of the course on Tuesday.

Nine permanent fences in the open country usually used in the Grand Annual Steeplechase have been taken down and new sods have been laid as the club prepares for the history making race.

Steward James Hitchcock said he was pleased with the feedback from jockeys Brad McLean, Declan Bates, Shane Jackson and Braidon Small following the 2000 metre flat  trial.

“The feedback from the  jockeys was very positive,” Hitchcock said.

“There were no issues. We were looking at how the track was racing  coming down the hill to Tozer Road.

“It raced perfectly.

“I don’t think there is any need to have any more flat trials on the track.”

Warrnambool Racing Club racecourse manager Daniel Lumsden said he was happy with how the new surface raced.

“We pulled down the old permanent jumps in August,” Lumsden said.

“We had 150mls of rain after pulling out the jumps and then we laid the sods in early October.

“The grass has a really great base.

“We’ll look at the surface again after our Koroit Cup meeting on January 7th and may start watering again in early February.

“The area will be ready for our early jumps trials through the paddocks in early March.”

The old nine jumps will be replaced by temporary wheel-in fences for the 2018 Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase.