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Warrnambool to host Jericho Cup in 2018

A $300,000 horse race over a gruelling 4600 metres will be run at Warrnambool next year to commemorate Australia and New Zealand’s involvement in World War One.

The race in November 2018, named The Jericho Cup, will be restricted to horses bred and born in Australia or New Zealand.

Racing Victoria and the Warrnambool Racing Club announced on Tuesday the Jericho Cup would be run on turf at Warrnambool in November 2018, more than 100 years after it was originally run on the desert sands of Palestine during the first world war.

The distance of the Warrnambool race is the same as that of the original race in Palestine, just outside the city of Jericho, in 1918.

The 2018 event is the brainchild of Victorian philanthropist Bill Gibbins.

Gibbons is sponsoring the race through the WRC.

“Australia has a proud war history and any event that positively promotes the involvement of the ANZAC soldiers and their horses during battle – we are only too happy to support,” WRC chief executive Peter Downs said.

Greg Carpenter, RV’s executive general manager of racing, said the racing body supported the initiative which he said “honours such a significant event from Australia’s war past”.

“We look forward to working with the Warrnambool Racing Club as they deliver this milestone event and hope it holds a regular place on Victoria’s racing calendar,” Carpenter said.

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