Season Preview 2022
Record-breaking prize money, enhanced three-day Festival and Ladies Day near sold out – Perth Racecourse is back!
Perth Racecourse is counting down to its 2022 season which will see racegoers return fully for the first time since 2019, to a 15-fixture calendar packed with racing highlights and enhancements throughout the venue.
On the track, for the first time ever Perth will deliver three days of racing each with £100,000+ prize money, namely on day one of the Perth Festival on April 20, as well as on two Saturday racedays on June 18 and August 13, rewarding all levels of horse ownership. The season starts four weeks today with the three-day Perth Festival, worth £280,000 overall including Perth’s highest value fixture in 2022 at £106,000 (April 20). This restructure of the festival programme ensures the best quality racing surface for the higher quality races on the opening day. The William Hill Highland National is still the feature on the final day when the ITV cameras make their annual visit to the UK’s most northerly racing destination. Total prize money for 2022 is £1.1M with the loyal support of multiple blue-chip sponsors providing a significant contribution towards this total purse.
Perth Racecourse will be fully open to racegoers for the first time since 2019 which shall bring back the badly missed atmosphere of a shared experience that was so lacking during behind closed doors. The executive also hopes to continue a trend of field sizes strong in number and high in quality. Total runners in 2021 were up to 911 (from 772 in 2019), average field size up to 7.85 runners per race (from 7.35 in 2019), and there was an increase in total races run with 116 last year (from 105 in 2019).
Further highlights within the 2022 racing card are Ladies Day on May 12, which is already close to being sold out, Gold Cup Day on June 5, a July Family Raceday packed with a vast range of free activities for the kids including insights in to careers with horses, and the two-day season-closing Glorious Finale in September. Tickets for all fixtures are on sale now at early bird prices, available to buy online with advance purchases recommended.
Perth Racecourse CEO Hazel Peplinski said: “This is a very exciting time of year for all of us at the racecourse and the recent spell of settled weather is really helping with site preparations. We have a lot of pent-up desire to be welcoming everyone back to Perth; I know I am biased but this wee course is really one of the jewels in the crown that everyone just loves, isn’t it? The team spirit is amazing and whilst we are all working very hard it is a privilege to be focussed as a team on delivering ‘fun at the races’ which should be our mantra.”
Racegoers will in 2022 be welcomed with free racecards at every fixture to help increase knowledge and appreciation of the core product of racing, and shall also experience modified capacities to enhance use of vast space around the venue and provide the safest possible raceday experience for all. New policies introduced in 2022 will continue, with the new Picnic Enclosure offering both a beer garden and outlets for teas, coffees, hot and cold snacks, with no alcohol permitted to be brought on site.
The legendary, warm Perth Racecourse welcome will continue for all working visitors coming to Perth from the south and Ireland with free raceday food for travelling staff, while the racecourse’s owners and trainers area has been refurbished, offering exclusive use for those bringing runners.
Perth’s commitment to animal welfare has also received investment, with veterinary contingency services going above and beyond the instructions of the BHA such as an extra vet at the stable yard. The chase course has also introduced white trim to the fences as a UK industry wide welfare initiative to reduce faller rates over obstacles by improved horse visibility. Keen eyes may also notice that Perth numbercloths have been renewed with the actual number size larger and clearer (white not gold) for better visibility both for racegoer and TV viewer.
Hazel added: “It was recently announced that this would be my last season at Perth before stepping down as Chief Executive. The Perth community should be reassured that the necessary succession planning is a top priority for the Committee and my collective minds. It is an exciting phase for Perth with high advance sales, our hotel heavily involved in the construction of the Cross Tay Link Road construction teams and I am very optimistic that the bounce back from the pandemic is well and truly on!”