Trainer Symon Wilde has had a memorable month and he is hoping it will build to a crescendo with a victory on his home turf of Warrnambool in the Jericho Cup, a race he is extra keen to win.
Already this month Wilde has won 10 races, including the Sandown Guineas with Allibor and another two city events with promising mare Tralee Rose.
On Sunday in Australia’s longest flat race over 4600 metres, Wilde will be represented by Count Zero and Brittanicus.
Wilde is an unabashed fan of the Jericho Cup, which will be run for the third time on Sunday, and he believes it will become one of the best days on the country racing calendar.
“It’s not just for the punter. It’s a point of difference as it’s a real event,” Wilde said.
“People can come to the races and see the Light Horseman, listen to the Last Post. Kids are intrigued and ask questions about the war,” he said.
Wilde said the feedback from owners who attended the first year was that they loved it and would return.
“It’s not a pop-up money race. It’s got history behind it. There’s something for everybody,” Wilde said.
“Unfortunately last year the weather was terrible and now we’ve got the COVID but it will continue to gain momentum.
“And it’s a great race for trainers with stayers. We target the race a long way out.”
Wilde believes his two horses will run out the marathon distance, which brings them into play.
“Count Zero is the right type of horse to win it. He can stay. He’s by Zed and he’s got a stout pedigree,” he said.
Wilde pointed to the 2019 Jericho Cup as a good example of the fact the race suits horses with stamina rather than class.
“Last year (trainer) Patrick Ryan’s Golden Flag almost beat Ablaze. He’s a mid-week type horse and that’s the sort of horse Count Zero is,” Wilde said.
“If a 58-grade horse can run the 4600 metres he’ll be a chance. The distance is the great leveller. Most horses won’t run it out but my pair will.”