It’s official – the racing season gets underway this week and here at Small City, we couldn’t be any more excited!
The Perth Festival takes centre stage this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, marking the beginning of a fantastic year of racing at Perth!
For those attending on the opening day on Wednesday, there will be an extra special treat in store. The winner of the 2017 Grand National at Aintree, One For Arthur, will take a lap of honour in the parade ring at 1:25pm before the first race of the day which is scheduled for 2pm.
In honour of the local hero, racecourse sponsor Edinburgh Gin will also unveil its bespoke One For Arthur Gin and Fizz bar at the festival this week – which is music to the ears of everyone here in the office!
Hazel Peplinski, the chief executive of Perth Racecourse, is extremely excited to be welcoming such a popular horse on Wednesday.
“I can’t think of a better way to kick off our season than to have the honour of One For Arthur gracing our parade ring. He has touched everyone in the Perthshire area and we are all so proud of what he achieved at Aintree.
“He’s guaranteed a massive reception on Wednesday and we look forward to welcoming the whole team!”
One of the other highlights of the festival is the Highland National which takes centre stage on Friday. The National always attracts the best of UK & Irish racing and with the prize money set at £20,000, it’s sure to be an incredible spectacle.
Also making an appearance at this year’s Perth Festival – sponsored by Heineken UK – are the famous Kilted Yogis, Tristan Cameron Harper and Finlay Wilson.
The pair have appeared in photographs doing yoga at some of Scotland’s most picturesque locations and are set to add Perth Racecourse to that list, with the beautiful Perthshire countryside providing the perfect backdrop.
2017 is set to be a huge year for Perth Racecourse, with lots of improvements made by the staff over the close season.
There will be 15 race days this year, bolstered by a new £250,000 irrigation system and a 10% increase in prize money – both of which should attract the highest calibre of horses, jockeys and trainers to Perth over the summer. Hazel has been the driving force behind getting the new system in place, and as she heads into her second year at the helm she is enthusiastic about the year ahead at Perth Racecourse.
“We pride ourselves in staging some of the best national hunt racing in the country at this time of year. The experience is much more relaxed than the Cheltenham, Aintree and Ayr Festivals that go before us.
“We’ve invested heavily in our new irrigation system and with increased prize money we hope to catch the eye of more horsemen across the whole of the UK & Ireland.”
The investments appears to be paying off already, with leading Irish Championship trainer Gordon Elliott having already earmarked his contenders for a powerful raid on Perth this year.
So summer is almost here and the season is about to get underway – what better excuse do you need to get dressed up and head for a day out at Perth Racecourse? With three great days of action packed racing this week, the Perth Festival is the perfect way to kick start what is sure to be another fantastic year! We’ll see you there!
The fourteenth annual Winter Words Festival returns to Pitlochry Festival Theatre in February 2018.
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