The Jericho Cup put on a spectacle that many had anticipated but it was won by a horse that most did not expect.
The Simon Wilde trained Count Zero has out jumped and out stayed his rivals in the 4600m Jericho Cup to win easily on the line from the gallant Dambulla in second with race favourite Wil John finishing third with that group then gapping the rest of the field.
“In this race’s short history it has been a bit of an aim of ours after we were fortunate to win the Grand Annual. I love the concept. I think its a fantastic race. It’s got real meaning to it. Its not a pop-up race or money grab like some of the other ones are. It’s got real depth an meaning and a real honour to win the race.” Wilde said.
“A Kiwi-bred Zed, he’s a tough as nails. Last run I thought the signs were there that he has settled a lot better this year than he did in previous years. (I thought) he’d be ready for this trip. Congratulations to both our boys, Ronan and Luke, they’re local jockeys and I want to thank the team at home. They’ve done a wonderful job.
“His last two runs, they’re what turned us. His first two runs this campaign were pretty ordinary. The last two gave us some confidence to run in this race. When he pulled up so well, he’s tough, he’s a good eater, he’s the right horse to back-up. The rest is history.
Count Zero was sent out as one of the outsiders of the field with Sportsbet installing the horse as $27 chance in betting but a masterful ride by jockey Luke Williams and a dominant staying display from the horse saw him win like an odds on favourite.
The win by Count Zero continued his sire Zed’s exceptional run of late with his daughter Verry Ellegant winning the Caulfield Cup in October.