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Image: Reg Ryan
The fourth edition of Australia's longest race is fast approaching

With the Melbourne Cup run the the Cups scene moves away from the metropolitan area for the upcoming weeks.

On Saturday is the Cranbourne Cup, followed by the Ballarat Cup then on the last Saturday in November city racing returns to Caulfield for the Sandown Cup and Zipping Classic.

November 28 will see Australia’s longest race, the Jericho Cup (4600m), run through the steeplechase paddocks of the Grand Annual Steeplechase course at Warrnambool.

The Jericho Cup is the brainchild of Bill Gibbins and is staged for Australian and New Zealand-bred horses with qualifying races conducted around Australia and in New Zealand.

With eight of the qualifying races having been run, the final two will be held in the next week.

The Valley hosts a race over 3800m on Friday night, two days before a 3400m race at Thoroughbred Park in Canberra.

The partnership of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, who claimed the 2019 Jericho Cup with Ablaze, will again have a strong hand this year with Raise You Ten safely in the field while Warrnambool trainer Symon Wilde, who won last year’s Jericho Cup with Count Zero, already has two spots secured for his title defence with Only A Mother and American In Paris.

Outside of the ‘win-and-you’re-in races’, qualifying points have been awarded to the first three Australasian-bred horses across the line in any race run over 3000m or further at TAB meetings held in Australia and New Zealand since November 18 last year.

Currently leading the way on eight points apiece are Budd Fox and New Zealand visitor Border Leicester, both of whom are among the contenders at The Valley.

Nominations for the race, which carries a first prize of $150,000, close on Tuesday with final acceptances on November 23.

Should there be a sufficient acceptances, Racing Victoria will run a $60,000 consolation race on Jericho Cup Day for any horses balloted out of the final field.

 
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