The Fair Maid of Perth brings further riches to the racecourse
With less than a week to go, Perth Racecourse is saddling up for its most impressive season opener on record – including the richest race in its long history.
The popular Perth Festival runs from Wednesday 25 to Friday 27 April, and within the three days of thrilling racing will be the debut of a brand new race in honour of the city’s celebrated cultural roots.
The richest ever race at Perth, the prestigious £35,000 Fair Maid of Perth Mares Steeplechase (Class1) (Listed) over 3 miles will hope to attract some of the finest racehorses from across the UK, Ireland and France. Taking place on the final day of the festival, the Fair Maid of Perth will join the heart-stopping Heineken UK Highland National on the fabulous seven-race card which promises to be an unmissable final day to the Festival.
To commemorate the Fair Maid of Perth, a stunning special edition trophy has been commissioned by Scottish artist Gordon Muir. Cast in bronze and inspired by the classic novel by Sir Walter Scott, the intricate trophy depicts the story’s heroine, Catherine Glover, the daughter of a glovemaker in Perth who sparks a bloody battle between Scots nobles.
Completing the racecourses’ artistic trilogy, the Fair Maid joins the Stone of Destiny and Saddle Quern heritage trophies, paying homage to Perth’s rich history and culture.
Perth Racecourse chief executive, Hazel Peplinksi, said: “It is impossible not to become fascinated by the rich heritage which surrounds us here in Perth. The Fair Maid of Perth is just one example of our city’s amazing culture, and the classic 19th century novel seemed such an appropriate theme for this particular race and to celebrate our roots.
“We commissioned two special edition trophies last year in light of Scotland’s Year of Heritage, History and Archaeology, and they were greatly received by the winning Owners that come to Perth from all across the country and beyond. Our Fair Maid joins an exact miniature of the legendary Stone of Destiny and the Roman-era Saddle Quern – which was discovered in the fabled Gold Castle camp adjoining the racecourse on the banks of the River Tay.
“As well as promoting the city’s heritage, we wish to involve the wider Perthshire community in our amazing sport. With the Fair Maid of Perth Steeplechase adding to what was already a very strong three days of racing, this year’s Perth Festival is attracting plenty of interest and is definitely one not to miss, especially since the weather has finally turned more spring-like.”
Popular culture is also on the bill at the Perth Festival, with Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw entertaining the crowd after the last race on Friday night. The primetime breakfast show host will bring the party atmosphere to the track, ensuring the festival closes on a high.
Marking the start of the 2018 season, the Perth Festival is a three-day extravaganza which will showcase some of the finest horse racing on offer. Set against the spectacular landscape of the UK’s most northerly track, racegoers will be treated to three days of thrilling racing, excellent hospitality and live entertainment.
Taking place from 25 April (Wednesday) to 27 April (Friday), three-day Perth Festival tickets are priced at £50. Grandstand tickets are available from £20.