Perth Racecourse is situated within the boundaries of Scone Palace Park, on the banks of the River Tay, in central Scotland, approximately 47 miles north of Edinburgh. The first written records of horse racing in the vicinity of Perth date from 1613, when a race called the Silver Bell was run on an area of parkland, known as the South Inch, to the south of the city centre.
However, the racecourse wasn't moved to its current location, in Scone Palace Park, until 1908 and has remained largely unchanged ever since. Nowadays, Perth Racecourse stages 14 National Hunt fixtures a year, starting with the three-day Perth Festival in late April and ending with the two-day Glorious Finale in late September.
General admission prices at Perth Racecourse are £15 per person for the Grandstand and £10 per person for the Centre Course Enclosure. Concessions are available for disabled people, senior citizens and students and admission is free for accompanied children.
On days when racing doesn't take place, Perth Racecourse offers modern, flexible facilities for corporate events, such as conferences, exhibitions and meetings. The Galileo, on the first floor of the Nelson Stand, overlooking the racecourse, can accommodate up to 300 people, while the Owner & Trainers can accommodate up to 80 people and is suitable for smaller meetings and training events. Perth Racecourse offers full disabled access, free Wi-Fi and free car parking for up to 2,000 vehicles.
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What's unique about the course at Perth?
Perth consists of a flat, right-handed circuit, approximately eleven and a half furlongs around, with sweeping bends. There are five hurdles, or seven fences, per circuit, although the water jump, overlooking the original Club Stand, is omitted on the final circuit of steeplechases, leaving a long run-in from the final fence to the winning post.
Perth typically places big, long-striding types at a disadvantage and occasionally throws up course specialists; Mumbles Head, trained in Pembrokeshire by Peter Bowen, for example, ran four times at Perth between 2007 and 2012 and won on all four occasions.
Notable Races and Events
The most prestigious race of the year at Perth is the City of Perth Gold Cup Handicap Chase, run over 3 miles in June and worth £19,494 to the winner. In 2012, the race was won by Peter Bowen's 11-year-old Mumbles Head, who was making the 450-mile trip from Little Newcastle, Pembrokeshire for the second time in a month. Coincidentally, Peter Bowen also won the second most valuable race of the year at Perth, the Summer Champion Hurdle, run over 2 miles 110 yards in August and worth £15,640 to the winner, with his 4-year-old Kian's Delight later the same season.
In 1978, Jonjo O'Neill broke the world record for the number of winners, 125, ridden by a National Hunt jockey in a single season at Perth. Of course, that record has been eclipsed many times since, most notably by Tony McCoy who, in the 2001/02 season, rode 289 winners and broke the record held by Flat jockey Sir Gordon Richards for the number of winners, 269, ridden in a single season.
In 2012, Perth Racecourse's “Racing Ahead” concept was shortlisted by the Racecourse Association for a Showcase Award in the Corporate Social Responsibility category. The idea was to aid the recovery of local cancer patients, holistically, by offering free hospitality. The scheme welcomed 60 cancer patients to the racecourse, over two evening meetings and inspired other Scottish racecourses to adopt the initiative.
Top Owners, Jockeys and Trainers
Jason Maguire is, by some way, the leading jockey at Perth during the last five seasons with 43 winners from 160 rides. Graham Lee's defection to the Flat jockeys' ranks means that Maguire is, in fact, 26 winners ahead of his nearest pursuer, Sam Twiston-Davies with 17 winners from 69 rides.
County Meath trainer Gordon Elliott regularly sends his horses across the Irish Sea to Perth and is the leading trainer during the last five seasons with 63 winners from 232 runners. Perth is one of the few National Hunt racecourses where J.P. McManus doesn't feature highly in the owners' table for the last five seasons; Sean Gallacher is, in fact, the leading owner for that period with 9 winners from 30 runners.
Follow Perth Racecourse on Social Networks
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