The 2019 season starts with a bang with the Perth Festival and is set to attract some of the biggest and best names in UK and Irish racing to Old Scone this season.
Experience the fantastic Perth Festival atmosphere which is enjoyed not just by the racegoers but by the jockeys, trainers and owners too. There will be a huge amount of excitement in the Grandstand area as the crowd welcome in another year of first-class racing action to the UK’s most northerly racecourse.
As always Perth starts its new season with a real bang and prize money for the 2019 three-day Festival is a whopping £304,000.
The first Listed race of the year on this opening day is the £30,000 (up from £25,000 in 2018) EBF Stallions Gold Castle 'National Hunt' Novices' Hurdle over three miles. Champion Irish trainer Willie Mullins recorded his first ever Perth success in the 2016 renewal and last year's winner, Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Callet Mad was subsequently placed in Graded company. However, it's not all about one race and there is also a strong supporting card including a valuable Class 3 handicap chase again over three miles.
A £30,000 highlight is worthy of mention - the River Tay handicap chase over 2m 4f - focusses the mind on the middle day, one of many large prizes scooped last year by the Bowen family raiding from deepest Wales – this time James rode his father’s Wadswick Court to a fine victory.
In a slight re-shuffle, the Hunter Chase shall now be run on this middle day and has been made an Open contest in memory of the much-admired track specialist Creevytennant. “Creevy’s” owner Mrs Duncan as well as The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards shall be supporting this popular race this season.
And don't just focus on favourites if you're having a flutter - one of the winners last year Asylo, was returned at 33/1 and paid 54/1 on the Tote!
With a record total prizefund of £112,000 on offer – Perth’s richest ever raceday!!
The Listed three-mile £35,000 Fair Maid of Perth Chase for mares only, which is sponsored by the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, was won last year by Peter Bowen's Ron’s Dream who followed up in similar company shortly after. The Bowens are worth a follow at Perth!
The Highland National in many respects is the main feature of the whole week. It is a large prize for these Class 3 Staying Chasers who shall race over the stamina sapping three miles and six furlongs, the longest race of Perth’s whole season and regularly attracts a very competitive field with plenty of familiar names amongst them.
Scottish trainers have a good recent record with the 2016 renewal going to Iain Jardine-trained Double Whammy while Nick and Lucy Alexander won in 2014 with Bertie Milan. Last year it went to Chic Name trained in Cheltenham by Richard Hobson who is also a great supporter of Perth.