Jericho Cup

revived in its centenary year

December 2nd 2018 (4th Sunday After The Melbourne Cup)


Approaching the end of the First World War the Australian Light Horse were planning a major offensive against the Turkish Empire. In order to lull the enemy into believing nothing unusual was afoot, a race meeting was organised on the eve of the assault.

The main race was called The Jericho Cup over 3 miles through the desert sands. The winner was Bill the Bastard, probably Australia’s Greatest War Horse.

His exploits are detailed in the book Bill the Bastard by noted historian Professor Roland Perry. You can read Chapter 24 “The Ruse” on our web site above. It tells the story of the first Jericho Cup.

The Jericho Cup will be re-run annually from the 100th anniversary in 2018 to honour Bill the Bastard, the Australian Light Horsemen and their magnificent mounts – The Walers 1914 to 1918.

After the disaster of the Gallipoli landing they collectively formed the spearhead of the Allied Forces in the Middle East. They destroyed the centuries old Ottoman Empire and drove the Turks from the Holy Land.

Traditionally we have remembered the disaster and not the ultimate victory. Until now...


Owners and Trainers Qualifying Information

The Jericho Cup - Race Card

Race Name Distance Benchmark
1. Harry Bell 1,400m 3yo Maiden
2. Michael Shanahan 1,200m Maiden
3. Banjo Patterson - Honorary Vet 1,700m BM58
4. Harry Chauvel 2,000m BM64
4B. The Jericho Cup - Consolation
(if sufficient acceptances)
4,065m BM90
5. Midnight Madness - Fillies and Mares 1,200m BM70
6. Charge at Beersheba Sprint 1,000m BM70
7. The Jericho Cup 4,600m BM90
8. Goodbye Albany, Farewell Australia 1,400m BM64

News and Updates

Goodbye Albany Farewell Australia

The last race on Jericho Cup day will be the "Goodbye Albany Farewall Australia" benchmark 64 over 1400m.

You can also check out the website to see why.

As If He Knows - by Eric Bogle

A tribute to the light horse.

Bill the Bastard Statue

Around the time Bill Gibbins was putting together The Jericho Cup, Carl Valerius, a self taught sculpter, was putting together a statue of Bill the Bastard. Carl is based in Harden around 140km west of Canberra. You can see his sculptures on his website, now deemed to be a statue of National Significance by the NSW Government.

The story of Harry Bell

Harold Thomas Bell grew up on a farm in Walpeup near Ouyen in Victoria. His eldest brother, Samuel, was serving on the Western Front. Harry aspired to join the action but was only 16, and the minimum age was 18. He decided to use his mother’s maiden name and say his father was his uncle and his next of kin.


Bill Gibbins - SEN Interview
Warrnambool Racing Club - CEO Interview