Perth Racecourse is an extremely popular racing location, sat right next to the historic Scone Palace close to Perth in Scotland. The track hosts National Hunt racing only.
The current site within the Scone Palace Parklands has been hosting racing since 1908, next to Cramock Burn. Racing in and around Perth however has been taking placing since 1613.
- Address – Perth Racecourse, Scone Palace Park, Perth, Perthshire, PH2 6BB.
- Owner – The Perth Hunt Committee.
- TV Station – Racing TV.
- Type – National Hunt.
- Surface – Turf.
Perth runs right-handed with each circuit being 1¼ miles. There are eight fences on each circuit of the chase course; one on each side, two down the back and four in the straight. The hurdle course features on flight on each side, one down the back and two in the straight.
The track features sweeping turns and a pretty flat surface, many thinking that makes it easy. As the water jump isn’t taken on the run-in, there is a long run from the last fence to the line in chases with some horses going for home too soon. Some stamina is required.
National Hunt jockeys confirm that Perth rides flat, but that means it can trick riders into going for home a little too quickly.
It can seem easy at first, but over-racing or kicking on without that water jump to take can really test stamina, so keep that in mind despite some saying that speed is important here.
A half-mile straight is long enough to negotiate without not travelling well and/or being tired at the final fence. Your horse should be proven over every inch of the advertised trip.
Visiting Perth Racecourse
Staying anywhere in Perthshire, especially close to Scone Estates, will allow access to some wonderful scenery and amenities. The racecourse itself is the main event though, and what a beauty it is.
There are two enclosures to enjoy at Perth – the Grandstand Enclosure and the Picnic Enclosure.
The larger area is the Grandstand Enclosure and that is where you’ll find the bulk of Perth’s race day facilities including the bars, Café 1614 and independent bookies who are on hand to take your bets. This enclosure allows close access to the horses with the parade ring and winner’s enclosure situated here.
Perth is popular with all types, including families. The best place for those with kids is in the Picnic Enclosure, in which you can bring your own food and soft drinks, as well as your own picnic furniture if you please!
How to Get to Perth Races
To get to Perth Racecourse, head onto the M90 motorway towards Aberdeen and Dundee, turning off at junction 11 signposted ‘Scone Palace & Blairgowrie’.
From there, follow Dundee Road until reaching the sign for ‘Blairgowrie & A93’. Move left onto Stormontfield Road and look for signs for the racecourse which will direct you right in.
The racecourse also runs a shuttle bus service. The bus runs from Horsecross Perth Concert Hall across to the course. It returns back to Perth city centre. Tickets are needed and can be acquired at the same time as race day tickets.
The main train station in Perth is just three miles from the racecourse. A taxi rank is on hand. Dundee Airport is 20 miles away but offers limited service from around the country, though Edinburgh Airport is 40 miles away and Glasgow is 70 miles.
Where to Stay
There are spits and spots of rooms near the Scone Palace and along the River Tay. Perth itself however is very close and so it is better to stay in the city, with pubs, hotels, B&B’s and rental properties plentiful.
Biggest Races at Perth
Perth’s meetings and festivals are legendary. No top-class races take place here in terms of grade, but many competitive race days are held and are supported by trainers as far away as southern England and across in Ireland.
Perth splits its fixtures up between April and September, featuring the Perth Festival, Ladies Day, Gold Cup Day, Family Raceday, Stone of Destiny Day and the Glorious Finale.
The best races at Perth each calendar year are:
|Gold Castle Novices’ Hurdle||5yo+, Novices’ Hurdle, Listed Race||3m||April|
|Fair Maid of Perth Mares’ Chase||5yo+, Mares Only, Listed Race||3m||April|
|River Tay Handicap Chase||5yo+, Handicap Chase, Class 2||2m4f||April|
|Scoonieburn Handicap Hurdle||4yo+, Handicap Hurdle, Class 3||3m2½f||April|
|Highland National*||5yo+, Handicap Chase, Class 3||3m6½f||April|
|Perth Gold Cup||5yo+, Handicap Chase, Class 2||3m||June|
|Kilmany Cup||5yo+, Handicap Chase, Class 3||3m||June|
|Perth Silver Cup||4yo+, Handicap Chase, Class 3||2m||July|
|Stone of Destiny Hurdle||3yo+, Handicap Hurdle, Class 2||2m||August|
*Highland National is run for the Julian Llewellyn Palmer Memorial Trophy
About Perth Racecourse
Perth Racecourse is one of five tracks in Scotland, along with Ayr, Hamilton, Musselburgh and Kelso. This one however is the UK’s most northerly racecourse, hugely popular with trainers from around Britain and Ireland, running summer jumping meetings which draw in impressive crowds.
Each April to September, Perth puts on a great schedule of race meetings, often themed. Races are of strong quality with some days being accompanied by live music and/or DJ’s.
There is evidence of racing having taken place in Perth as early as 1613. Back then, the Silver Bell was reportedly contested each year at South Inch.
What happened to racing in and around Perth after that is unclear, but what we do know is that a Caledonian Gold Cup was run beginning in 1818.
After that, race days at Perth increased and were made more regular until 1890, when in December of that year the final meeting was staged at the regular venue.
With apparent drunken behaviour spoiling race meetings near Perth at the start of the 1900’s, a change of venue was needed. In 1906, the Earl of Mansfield looked to transfer racing to a better area and with that, a two-day meeting was organised at his Scone Palace Park.
The meeting took place on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th of September 1908, remaining at that location ever since.