The Group 2 Perth Cup is one of the most important races of the Perth Summer Racing Carnival. While not as important as the Kingston Town Stakes, the Perth Cup is still a very popular event, owing somewhat to being held on New Year’s Day each year.
The Perth Cup is a 2400 metre test of endurance in the summer heat, run under open handicap conditions. The race has previously been longer, and was a 3200 metre race from 1972 to 2008. Since 2009, the race has been at its current 2400 metre length, likely in reaction to the disastrous fall of six horses in the 2008 run.
The race has a total prize purse of $400,000 and draws a massive crowd to Ascot Racecourse as many people continue their New Year’s celebrations in style at the track. Just like other major meets, fashion is an important part of the Perth Cup Carnival.
As a Group 2 event in Western Australia, the Perth Cup does not usually draw the very best champions, but its winners have been much loved by local fans. Some of its early legends were Blue Spec in the 1904 run and Eurythmic in the 1919 Perth Cup long with Rivose in a dead heat.
The history of the Perth Cup is surprisingly long, with the first race won in 1887 by the aptly named First Prince. It even continued to be run during the two World Wars.
Perth Cup Fast Facts
Location: Ascot Racecourse
Date: January 1 – New Year’s Day
Status: Group 2
Conditions: 3YO+ Qlty Handicap