Preparations for Glorious Finale
The countdown is on to Perth’s Glorious Finale, with 14 races next Wednesday and Thursday (September 26 and 27) bringing down the curtain on a sensational six months of entertainment.
The Glorious Finale two-day meeting – Perth’s oldest race first staged 110 years ago, in 1908 – features bumper cards worth a combined £143,000, a 50% increase on equivalent prize-money 12 months ago.
On the track on day one, the feature 3 Mile chase worth £30,000 remembers the late Chairman David Whitaker, and the supporting two-mile handicap chase has had the novice restriction removed to make it more attractive to horsemen at this competitive time of year. These valuable Chases are supported by a Class 3 handicap hurdle as well as five other competitive races. Perth has just agreed to stage an additional juvenile hurdle over 2 miles to open the card and give racegoers some added value with a seventh race (first race 2.10pm).
A top-drawer day of racing is also in store for day two. On this race day back in 2000, Grand National hero Bindaree made a winning debut over fences - he now has his name etched in Perth Racecourse history with Café Bindaree in the Grandstand enclosure named after him. The two-mile handicap hurdle has been named after local trainer Nick Alexander’s horse, Jet Master, after he won the race for the third time in a row last year with daughter Lucy Alexander in the saddle.
Following Thursday’s racing, the Edinburgh Gin end of season awards will be presented to Perth’s top jockey, top trainer and top owner for 2018; as things stand Brian Hughes, Gordon Elliot and Paul and Clare Rooney respectively lead each category.
Off the track, there will be some special visitors on both days. On Wednesday, the British Horseracing Authority board including out-going chairman Steve Harman and chief executive Nick Rust will call in to Perth for an industry day. On both Wednesday and Thursday, 30 young guests from Scone Primary School will experience a day at the races and learn more about the sport thanks to Racing to School, the education charity which delivers free outdoor learning activities for young people at racecourses and trainers’ yards across the country.
Finally, to top it all off, after two great days of racing and a full year of thrilling competition at Perth, The Corra Band will be live in The Barn after the final race on day two to see out 2018 and get racegoers excited for next season’s racing at the UK’s most northerly track.
Perth Racecourse Chief Executive Hazel Peplinski said: “After a fantastic season of summer jumping we are always pleased to catch the start of the proper National Hunt season. The rain has now arrived to ease the ground so we are expecting our boosted prize-money to attract some very competitive action over the two days.
“As always, there’s lots to appeal off the track too. We’re delighted to welcome some very special guests from the BHA and, perhaps even more importantly, two large groups of potential future racegoers from Scone Primary School across both days. The Scone Primary pupils join us on a Racing to School visit at which they shall gain insight to what the racing industry can offer the wider community in terms of future careers and a greater understanding of our impact on the economy.
“It’s been a really busy but rewarding season that has just flashed by so it shall be with mixed feelings that we welcome everyone back to Perth for the final time this year for what we hope shall be another fantastic meeting.”