A Day at the Races in Perth
Situated adjacent to the historic Scone Palace near the city of Perth, the Perth Racecourse opened in 1908, although horseracing in Perth goes back almost four hundred years. The right-handed course covers a distance of ten furlongs with the steeplechase course including eight fences per circuit and a water jump. The racing season at Perth Racecourse features fourteen race days, with the three-day Perth Festival kicking off the season in April, and the two-day Glorious Finale bringing the season to a close in September.
History reveals that horseracing at Perth actually began with the running of the Silver Bell on the city park in 1613, but was made official in 1791 with a five-day fixture sponsored by the Caledonian Hunt Club being run on North Inch Park alongside the River Tay. At that time the program featured only one race per day. With a nearly two hundred year history, Perth’s Gold Cup Day remains one of the most popular fixtures, with race-goers turning out in all their finery.
It was on September 23, 1908, that the Perth Racecourse moved to Scone Palace Park, where it remains to this day. Scone Palace has a rich and meaningful history as the site of the crowning of Robert the Bruce and Macbeth, and Perth Racecourse has played host to royalty in more recent years when the Queen Mother visited in 1970 and 1977.
Some of the highlights in the history of racing at Perth Racecourse include the breaking of the world record with 125 wins by jockey Jonjo O’Neill in 1978 (a record that has since been broken by Tony McCoy), and the setting of a record with 112 wins by Irish trainer Gordon Elliot in 2010 for most winners in a season at Perth.
Since opening in 1908, the layout of Perth Racecourse remains essentially the same and visitors will no doubt appreciate the sense of history that accompanies a day at the races in Perth.