Excitement in the air as Perth Racecourse counts down to start of 2022 season



Excitement is in the air as Perth Racecourse counts down to the beginning of its 2022 season.

That sense of anticipation is boosted by the fact that, for the first time since 2019, racegoers will return in full.

The treat this year is a 15-fixture calendar packed with racing highlights and enhancements throughout the venue.

The season starts later this month with the three-day Perth Festival, worth £280,000 overall and including the track’s highest value fixture at £106,000 on April 20.

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 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 focused as a team on delivering ‘fun at the races’ which should be our mantra.”

The Perth Racecourse executive also hopes to continue a trend of field sizes strong in number and high in quality.

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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) .

Racegoers will this year be welcomed with free racecards at every fixture to help increase knowledge and appreciation of the core product of racing.

And those attending will 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 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 from the south and Ireland with free raceday food for traveling staff, while the racecourse’s owners and trainers’ area has been refurbished.

While Peplinski is entering her last season as chief executive, she is sure to make it a successful one.

She said: “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.”

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www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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