NZB Airfreight Road to the Jericho Reaches Riccarton
23 October 2020
The South Island gets its shot at the A$300,000 Jericho Cup (4600m) with the running of the $30,000 NZB Airfreight Road to the Jericho (3000m) at Riccarton Park on Saturday.
The Jericho Cup is open to Australian and New Zealand-bred horses only, commemorating the light horse involvement in World War I and run on the fourth Sunday after the Group One Melbourne Cup (3200m). The original Jericho Cup was run in 1918 over three miles through desert sands. Its 100th anniversary was marked with the introduction of the modern Jericho Cup two years ago.
Saturday’s race at Riccarton Park is the second of two qualifying heats staged in New Zealand. The first heat was run at New Plymouth last month and won by Master Fin (NZ) (Nom du Jeu). The winner of each race receives a guaranteed start in the Jericho Cup at Warrnambool on November 29.
As sponsors, NZB Airfreight offers a $5,000 equine airfreight credit for the winner of each qualifying race, should they decide to travel across the Tasman and contest the Jericho Cup.
Saturday’s Christchurch qualifier has drawn a capacity field of 13 plus four emergencies. The competitive line-up includes proven stakes performers Rivera Rock (NZ) (Road to Rock), Orepuki Lad (NZ) (Raise the Flag) and King of the Dance (Animal Kingdom), while Dragon Storm (NZ) (Shocking) finished fifth in last season’s Wellington Cup (3200m).
Riccarton Park’s NZB Airfreight Road to the Jericho will be run as Race 5 on Saturday with a start time of 2:45pm.
|1||Riviera Rock||12||Road to Rock six-year-old Riviera Rock (NZ) has had 24 starts for four wins and nine placings. The pinnacle of his career to date came in the Listed Dunedin Gold Cup (2400m) earlier this year, in which he finished third. He warmed up for this assignment with a gritty last-start win at Ashburton.||Graham & Michael Eade||Samantha Wynne|
|2||Orepuki Lad||5||Joining Riviera Rock in a two-pronged attack for trainers Graham and Michael Eade, Orepuki Lad (NZ) (Raise the Flag) is the winner of five of his 25 starts to date. He won last year's Listed Dunedin Gold Cup (2400m) and placed in the Listed Riverton Cup (2147m). He brings solid recent form into this race, having placed in both of his two lead-up runs including a last-start third behind Riviera Rock.||Graham & Michael Eade||Jacob Lowry|
|3||Slammer||16||Slammer (NZ) (Raise the Flag) has collected five wins and five placings from 33 starts to date. He scored a strong win at Wingatui in early August, and has finished fourth and sixth in two subsequent appearances.||Brian & Shane Anderton||Corey Campbell|
|4||Pamir||1||Another well-performed stayer by Raise the Flag, Pamir (NZ) has had 40 starts for four wins and 11 placings. She has been unplaced in all of her four starts in this preparation, but struck traffic trouble when making up late ground for fifth behind Riviera Rock at Ashburton.||John Luxton||Rohan Mudhoo|
|5||Sulcifera||15||Sulcifera (NZ) (Red Giant) cost only $4,000 as a yearling at Karaka and has earned 10 times that amount with three wins to date. She produced a big late run for third over 2200 metres at Timaru last time out.||Daniel Champion & Kezia Murphy||Kavish Chowdhoory|
|6||Dragon Storm||8||By Melbourne Cup winner Shocking out of two-time Auckland Cup winner Prize Lady (NZ) (Prized), Ruakaka gelding Dragon Storm (NZ) has an exceptional staying pedigree. He has collected three wins on the track so far, along with an eye-catching fifth in the Wellington Cup (3200m) in January of this year.||Chris Gibbs & Michelle Bradley||Craig Grylls|
|7||King of the Dance||17||King of the Dance (Animal Kingdom) is a proven black-type performer at this time of year, having finished second in the Listed Spring Classic (2000m) at this same Riccarton meeting 12 months ago. He stuck on solidly for fifth at Ashburton in his most recent appearance.||Terrill Charles & Peter Corbett||Tanya Jonker|
|8||Mondorani||6||Burgundy gelding Mondorani (NZ) is a consistent performer, with 19 starts to date for two wins, eight placings, two fourths and three fifths. He ran sixth in New Plymouth's Jericho Cup qualifier last month, then filled the same position at Hastings last Saturday.||Kevin Myers||Kozzi Asano|
|9||Baby Menaka||3||Zed mare Baby Menaka (NZ) appears to have returned to action in career-best form in her current campaign. She resumed with a powerful come-from-behind win at Riccarton on October 3, then produced another strong finish for second at Ashburton last weekend.||John & Karen Parsons||Tina Comignaghi|
|10||Oceans Away||2||Oceans Away (NZ) (Ocean Park) can be a hard horse to follow, but will be very competitive here if he brings his A-game. After three consecutive unplaced finishes, he produced an outstanding performance to win at Timaru last start.||Paul Harris||Leah Hemi|
|11||Madam de Soir||10||Nine-year-old mare Madam de Soir (NZ)(Raise the Flag) has won races in all of the last five seasons. She kept that record intact with a strong finish to win at Ashburton last weekend - the sixth win of her 60-start career.||John Phillips||Chelsea Burdan|
|12||Fantasy Flight||7||Fantasy Flight (NZ) (Echoes of Heaven) has won three of her 19 starts to date and did her best work late in the race when a last-start third over 2300 metres at Otaki.||Kevin Myers||Terry Moseley|
|13||Hillersden||9||Zed gelding Hillersden (NZ) scored a strong maiden win at Wingatui last December, and he fought hard for a second placing at Timaru last month. He was unplaced at Timaru in his last start on October 9.||Danny Crozier||Sarah Macnab|
|14||Seemax||4||By Rip Van Winkle out of stakes performer Baileys On Ice (NZ) (O'Reilly), Seemax (NZ) has had 24 starts for three wins and four placings. She needs one scratching to make this field.||Brian & Shane Anderton|
|15||Ekstrememiss||13||Two scratchings away from a start in this race, Ekstrememiss (NZ) is a daughter of Cape Blanco and the Group One winner Ekstreme (NZ) (Ekraar). She is a winner and ran a close second at Hawera last month.||Bryce Revell|
|16||The Saintly One||11||Edenwold gelding The Saintly One (NZ) has had 17 starts for a win and a placing. He was a last-start fifth at Ashburton. He needs three scratchings to earn a place in the starting gate here.||Sophie Hargreaves & Naomi Murfitt|
|17||Senassy||14||In good recent form in highweight and hurdle races, Senassy (NZ) (Istidaad) is four scratchings away from a shot at this race.||Kevin Myers|