Sulu Sea (NZ) Reaches New High in Road to the Jericho

25 October 2021

Sulu Sea (NZ) wins the $40,000 NZB Airfreight Road to the Jericho (3000m). Photo: Riccarton Park Raceway.

Saturday’s $40,000 NZB Airfreight Road to the Jericho (3000m) at Riccarton Park delivered a career highlight for under-rated staying mare Sulu Sea (NZ) (Sweet Orange). 

Trained by Daniel Champion and Kezia Murphy, the six-year-old went into Saturday’s race with two victories to her name from 32 career starts. She won a $10,000 maiden race at Oamaru in June 2019, then added a Rating 72 worth $11,000 at Riccarton Park in February of 2020. In Saturday’s $40,000 staying feature, she blew of those previous victories out of the water in one fell swoop.

Ridden by Kavish Chowdhoory, Sulu Sea sat in fourth place before surging into contention out wide around the home turn and outstaying her opposition down the long Riccarton straight. She scored by a long neck from second placegetter Wannabe 'N' Paris (NZ) (Reliable Man).

Sulu Sea is out of Amanpulo (NZ) (Duelled), who was passed in with no reserve at the 2014 Winter Mixed Bloodstock Sale at Karaka. Her only foal is Sulu Sea, whose 33 starts have now produced three wins, 10 placings and $61,748 in stakes.

Bigger and better things now loom on the horizon for Sulu Sea, who holds a nomination for the $250,000 Group Three New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton on November 13. Dragon Storm (NZ) (Shocking) won this race last year before repeating that result in the New Zealand Cup.

But Saturday’s victory also earned Sulu Sea a guaranteed start in the A$300,000 Jericho Cup (4600m) at Warrnambool on November 29.

Saturday’s race was the second of two qualifying heats for the Jericho Cup staged in New Zealand each spring. The first heat was run at New Plymouth last month and won by champion jumper The Cossack (NZ) (Mastercraftsman).

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 three years ago.

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, which this year will be run on November 28.