The Perth Racecourse executive is delighted to confirm almost £200,000 in prize money across two June fixtures as it looks to build on a 2022 season start featuring strong fields and low non-runners.
As we set for the start of June, Perth is looking forward to two weekend fixtures offering its biggest prizes pots in the summer months starting with bet365 Perth Gold Cup Day on Sunday 5 June, which features the prestigious £27,500 bet365 Sam Morshead Perth Gold Cup. Less than a fortnight later, Perth’s Saturday 18 June fixture offers £100,000 in total for Owners and Trainers that support Perth through the core summer season, for races in Classes 3-5, with a minimum race value of £9,000.
Expressing delight at the strong start to the season, Perth points to two race meetings in April and May having been exceedingly well supported by Owners and Trainers (average 58 runners / day) with a vastly reduced number of non-runners – only 16 so far this season. Perth welcomed 168 runners over the three days in April competing for nearly £300,000, then in May another 123 runners over the two days.
Further good news lies in the next step in Perth’s commitment to improving horse welfare. The observant shall have noticed the racecourse’s Chase fences have already been converted from orange to white trim. Building on this, Perth’s June Saturday fixture sees the launch of new padded hurdles, with white trim, replacing the traditional birch designs. Evidence strongly supports the new hurdle design in terms of reducing superficial injuries to horses and increasing the ability for a horse to identify sight lines for an accurate clearance of each obstacle.
Perth Racecourse CEO Hazel Peplinski said: “We couldn’t be happier with the strong start to our 2022 season and being able to share our racing with our regular racegoers in a safe environment once more. That we sold out our mid-week Ladies Day recently to 6,000 loyal customers who held credit with us for over two years was incredibly powerful for my team to experience and has given us a huge boost. We were all stretched to the max but it was a rewarding day to see so many people enjoying being back at Perth – it was really jumping!
“We are nothing without the horses and being located so far north does create some anxiety about the level of support we should expect from Owners and Trainers from England, Ireland and Wales. Whilst the support has been really encouraging, we are continuing to do everything we can to ensure those who visit Perth feel truly appreciated and win or lose, have a good experience.
“Welfare is a very large part of this and so introducing the “One Fit” modified hurdle frames on 18 June, which come with a custom fitting close-cell foam pad replacing the traditional birch filling, is a massive step forward. We work closely with Champion Jockey Brian Hughes who has been advocating this step for a while now and we are delighted to have been able to take his advice and invest in injury prevention for horse and jockey. Our groundstaff find dealing with any injury to a horse the worst part of their jobs and it is deeply satisfying to see their excitement about this innovative step and getting to grips with the installation of the new hurdle design.”
Peplinski also took time to offer her condolences following the passing of legendary jockey Lester Piggott, who died at the age of 86. Lester was champion jockey on 11 occasions and ended his career with 4,493 winners including nine in the Epsom Derby.
Peplinski said: “For once legendary is the correct word to use here as Lester was just that – a truly incredible character who transcended horse-racing with his brilliance and was worshipped by racing fans world-wide. From everyone at Perth Racecourse, we offer our condolences to the family and close friends of Lester who are in our thoughts.” Next up at Perth is bet365 Gold Cup Day on Sunday 5 June – for tickets visit www.perth-races.co.uk