The Road to the Jericho
From Mornington to Randwick, Cranborne to Gosford, Ballarat to Griffith – the second annual running of the Road to the Jericho has attracted war horses from far and wide. The stayers test over the 3400m holds extra significance for connections with ballot exemption for the winner into the $300,000 Jericho Cup on Sunday 29 November at Warrnambool up for grabs. The Jericho Cup over 4600m commemorates a fantastic ANZAC story. The first ever Jericho Cup was ran on the desert sands of Gallipoli in 1918 and was won by a literal warhorse, Bill The Bastard.
Fast forward 101 years, the inaugural Road to the Jericho held at Thoroughbred Park was won by local Ten Tigers. The Barbara Joseph, Paul & Matt Jones-trained galloper was piloted masterfully by Aaron Sweeney. This year’s edition sees no local entries with the field being made up by visitors from across the country.
One such entry, Da Deputy based at David Noonan’s Cranborne stable has targeted the Jericho Cup since the day connections purchased him online for $15,000.
“He was favourite for last year’s Jericho Cup and if he wins up in Canberra, he has pretty much paid for himself” Noonan said. “He was unlucky last start running second at Echuca, it means that we currently don’t have enough points to quality for this year’s Jericho Cup, hence the big trek up to Canberra.”
“We’re extremely happy with him so hopefully he can get the job done and get himself into it.”
Da Deputy will be floated from Cranborne to Albury where he will be transferred into the care of Trainer Mitch Beer as current border restrictions mean Noonan can not yet enter New South Wales.
Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott will travel six runners down the Hume Highway on Sunday including Frenzied who will line up in the Road to the Jericho. Frenzied, owned by Dynamic Syndications will carry the top weight of 60kgs but brings with him strong city form.
Dynamic Syndications’ Adam Watt is very bullish about Frenzied’s chances.
“He is the son of a Melbourne Cup winner, the Grandson of a Melbourne Cup winner so he should handle the trip, I think he’s got well in with the weights, he brings with him the best form and he’s back on top of the ground – he’ll win” Watt said.
Although a win here would mean Frenzied gains exemption for the ballot into the Jericho Cup, a decision on whether or not he would line up is yet to be made.
“We’re not sure about his path yet” Watt said. “Gai thinks he could be brilliant enough to win the Listed Christmas Cup at Randwick over the 2400m in mid-December so we have a few options with him, he’s pretty talented.”
Sunday’s Keith Dryden & Laurel Oak Bloodstock Road to the Jericho Day is a sell-out with the long-distance spectacle proving popular with local racing fans.
The Handle The Truth Road to the Jericho is Race 2 on the program and is due to jump at 1:45pm. The race will be preceded by a ceremony at 1:20pm which will include the Ode and the Last Post.
Photo: Aaron Sweeney fist pumps after steering Ten Tigers to victory in the inaugural Road to the Jericho in 2019 - Bradley Photos