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Standalone slot for Jericho Cup?

The growing popularity of the Jericho Cup has prompted racing authorities to consider moving it to a standalone Saturday fixture.

Despite the inclement weather, Sunday's raceday attracted more than 3500 racegoers and drew high praise from many others that watched the coverage on Racing.com. 

Almost 5000 attended the inaugural Jericho Cup raceday in 2018, which was run in brilliant sunshine. 

Warrnambool Racing Club CEO Tom O'Connor said he would engage in discussions with Racing Victoria and race pioneer Bill Gibbins about ways to further grow the event. 

With the impending redevelopment of The Valley, the late November fixture on the Saturday between the Ballarat Cup and Pakenham Cup will become available to another club and O'Connor believes it presents an opportunity to trial a standalone Saturday meeting at Warrnambool.

"That's the goal," O'Connor said.

"To try to grow the event in the future we've got to be looking at these standalone Saturdays, particularly for the city of Warrnambool.

"The timing is perfect off the back of the spring carnival in between the Ballarat and Pakenham Cup meetings, I think it's something that Racing Victoria could package up quite nicely.

"But it's obviously a discussion that we need to engage Bill Gibbins in, given his role and investment in the concept.

Gibbins supports the push for the meeting to become a standalone metropolitan meeting but believes it should remain on a Sunday. 

"Make it a metropolitan meeting, but keep it on a Sunday," Gibbins said.

"People have got to get down here and you can have a drink at The Whalers on the Saturday night.

"The Sunday is good and have Monday off."

Racing Victoria's Executive General Manager - Racing, Greg Carpenter, said the governing body was committed to supporting the efforts of Gibbins and the Warrnambool Racing Club to grow the Jericho Cup.

"We're always looking at ways of strengthening the program," Carpenter told RSN's Racing Pulse.

"I think $300,000 for a race of this kind is pretty right at the moment and it's actually about more than just the race, it's the whole weekend and the celebration.

"We've got to make sure the Jericho Cup raceday continues to build.

"I want this to be around in 10 years, it's such a great day."

From Sunday - Rod Lyons’ colours are carried by possibly Australia’s fastest horse, but it was the one who might be the slowest he owns he owns that provided him with possibly his biggest thrill in racing.

The prominent owner celebrated Jericho Cup success when Ablaze outstayed his rivals in the second running of the $300,000 Jericho Cup at Warrnambool on Sunday.
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