Racing has unofficially been taking place for over 400 years at Perth Racecourse, with the current venue celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2008. It is located in the grounds of the historic Scone Palace, meaning it is the most northerly of all Scotland’s racecourses.
It hosts a variety of summer national hunt meetings from April to September each season and is widely regarded as a very fair test of a horse’s speed, stamina, and jumping abilities. As well as attracting runners from all parts of the United Kingdom, it also attracts runners from Ireland, with Irish trainer Gordon Elliott a big supporter of the course. The horses Elliott sends over are often ridden by Richard Johnson, with the champion jockey enjoying an excellent strike-rate at the track.
Perth’s most popular races include the Highland National, the Gold Castle National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle, the Fair Maid of Perth Chase for Mares Only, and the Perth Gold Cup.
Perth Racecourse has won some notable awards, including the “Racegoers Club Best Overall Racecourse for Scotland and the North East” and the “Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Star Award in Leisure and Tourism”.
Below are some key facts about the Perth racecourse:
Course Type: Jumps
Current Owner: Unknown
Perth is a very fair course, with its 10-furlong flat right-handed course presenting runners with a mix of straights and sweeping bends. Horses must still navigate a water jump that is located in front of the stands, though this obstacle is omitted on the final circuit to leave a long run-in that has seen more than its fair share of exciting finishes.
Jockeys on horses that are travelling well into the straight are often tempted to kick for home, but a horse’s stamina needs to be assured if this tactic is to work, especially when the ground rides soft or heavy. The fences in the home straight also take some jumping for any horse that is tiring.
Perth Racecourse usually stages 16 race meetings each year, with the season kicking-off in April with the three-day Perth Festival. The highlight of the first day is the Gold Castle National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle, which has been won by the likes of Calett Mad and Gayebury. Meanwhile, the highlight of day two of the Perth Festival is the Fair Maid of Perth Chase for Mares Only. One of Perth’s richest races, the inaugural renewal was won by Plaisir D’amour. Another highlight is the Highland National, with winners including Boric and Chic Name.
In June, racegoers flood to the course to see the Perth Gold Cup, a race in which the likes of Henllan Harri and Beeves have picked up the £40,00 first prize.
Other popular race days include Ladies’ Day, Family Raceday, the Summer Carnival, and the Autumn Finale.
Perth Racecourse does not mention a dress code on its website, which should mean you can dress as you feel comfortable, which the holiday crowds tend to do. However, if you’re unsure about what is suitable attire for the races, you can contact the course using the phone number at the bottom of this article.
The course has a choice of two enclosures that punters can watch the races from, these being the Grandstand and the Centre Course. The latter tends to only be open at weekend meetings.
Perth Racecourse was moved to its current location because of a drinking ban.
Perth Racecourse, Score Palace Park, Perth, Perthshire, Scotland, PH2 6BB