Hazel Peplinski

Festive cheer as Perth Racecourse announces 35% increase in prize-money

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Perth Racecourse has confirmed that total prize-money for 2018 will be close to £1.25m, helped by an 18% rise in executive contribution and representing a 35% increase overall.

The significant upturn includes the new Appearance Money scheme and is the first time in Perth’s history that prize-money for its 15 National Hunt fixtures shall be more than £1m. As a result, average prize-money per race has increased from £8,500 to £11,500.

The Perth executive has fully embraced the industry’s new fixture and funding policies introduced in advance of 2018 and are confident that investment in the core product will lead to an increase in field sizes.

Hazel Peplinski, Chief Executive of Perth Racecourse, said: “What is so refreshing at Perth is the sheer appreciation for the quality of the racing that we strive to stage consistently. Our prize-money increase is a vote of confidence both in that core product and also in the ability of our track team to produce a racing surface that will give trainers the confidence to target Perth. It is an exciting time to be associated with Perth with the new stables and lodge proving so popular with travelling stable staff and the irrigation system producing much more consistent ground which is so important for the welfare of the horse. 

“The step change in prize-money levels for horsemen, which significantly is right across the board from our Class 1 races right down to the Class 5 races, has to directly impact the field sizes to be sustained long-term. We felt this is the right time to get behind our core product and encourage horsemen to support the summer jumping programme in the North.”

In addition to the rise in prizemoney, Perth’s fixture list for 2018 has become increasingly customer-friendly with the addition of a second Saturday fixture in June, with the track’s other Saturday meeting in August established as a sell-out.

In recent years Perth has invested heavily on its racing surface and on-course facilities for the horsemen and the new central funding for 2018 has meant the racecourse has been able to give its race programme a considerable boost.

Peplinski continued: “Beyond anything else our customers wish to see quality racing and competitive-sized fields so they can have a flutter with the prospect of a decent return.

“I would be confident that the horsemen who already support Perth shall be delighted with the injection in prize-money – of course it is our hope that the 35% increase in prize-money means that it becomes increasingly competitive at Perth in the future. We hope to turn the heads of a few trainers that would normally flick past the Perth cards in the racing calendar – ignore us at your peril would be my message.”