Approx no. of meetings
Rail from London (4 and a half hours from London, Change at Edinburgh Waverley)
Bus from (Bus from town centre or from Edinburgh)
Railway station to Racecourse (2 Miles)
Taxis – Rank at bus station and taxi office in town. As you will get stuck in traffic leaving, take the bus,.
The track has the most amazing restaurant in the Galileo with glass on three sides providing stunning views of the course and very impressive set menu. There are other dining options available, two grandstands, bar including the fabulous one for Arthur gin and fizz bar and a wealth of betting facilities..
There is a lodge at the racecourse, accommodation in Perth itself, and for long haul visitors we took the option of overnighting in Edinburgh.
We got the dining option in the restaurant, which was worth it for the food and views, but a variety of ticket types are available.
Rating: (2) Return after challenge as this is the last track.
25th April 2019 – Tracks Visited: UK (61), Ireland (4), France (1), Barbados (1)
The fact we flew in from Ireland after out Easter trip to Mallow, limited our options for staying overnight in Scotland, as there is only so much travelling one can do in a day. That being said, the fact we stayed for two nights in the Scotsman (and would not again) in the heart of Edinburgh, meant we arrived in Perth via a hour and a quarter rail journey crossing the Fourth rail bridge and passing the most beautiful countryside through Fife.
Arriving at Perth you are immediately struck with both the quality and quantity of the architecture. We were too early for the shuttle bus and so took a taxi to the track crossing the mighty Tay in the sunshine, unlike 90% of our adventures, this was not set to last. Our very knowledgeable cabbie told us all about Scone Palace on the way to the track, as it both lays on the Palace grounds and takes it water for the course from the Tay river.
In fact, we arrived so early we got to wait outside for fifteen minutes and chat to the delightful members and locals in the sunshine. This meant we were walked to the Galileo restaurant by fellow diners, which added to the feeling of a warm welcome. The Galileo restaurant on the first floor above the main stand had just changed caterers and although the wine list was yet to the printed, both the food and drink were excellent (although unusual at a racecourse not to find a stout on tap).
During our fine lunch the fabulous racing tv journalist Gordon Brown spoke eloquently and gave some winners (literally it turns out). Almost immediately we were off and the racing started at Beverly (another favourite track), which was helped by the plethora of repeater screens around the restaurant, although admittedly, they might like to pipe the sound through the PA system instead as the TV was a little hard to follow.
As I have upgraded the camera over the last few years, the next thing to tick off the list was to get photos for the website, but I think I need to learnt the best positions on the track as they were not the best I have ever taken (user error, not an issue with the track). For those technically minded among you, the parade ring and winner’s enclosure is near the track entrance and behind the smaller of the two stands. This does cause the inevitable tidal flow between races, but it also lets you find the wonderful “One for Arthur” gin and Fizz bar named after Madam Hoof’s favourite horse, so that’s bonus. The thing about racing is that it is so friendly, we stopped into the bar to have a drink we two friends of my boss in London, who were at the races for the day. In what other sport do you see these chance meetings happening over a glass of bubbles.
Returning to the chance meeting with Gordon and a few tweets to the track and all of a suddenly Hazel the chief exec of the course appears at our table asking if we would like to do something special to commemorate the day. Madam Hoof got to pick the best turned out horse in race 5 and we presented the prize to the winner jockey, owner and trainer (one of my favourites, Fergal O’Brien). While the race was on, we were invited to join the executive to watch the race and were flattered by the attention we received.
I feel like I am digressing a little because the day was so special, made more so by Gordon, Hazel and her team, and Fergal and Conor Brace winning two races. So, I should briefly say what we thought of the track itself. Firstly, a beautiful setting, lush, green and verdant. You know by now that I have a bee in my bonnet about visibility and this track is second to none. Even without screens, you can see the entire track from the grandstands, many courses would envy that. Finally, the organisation was flawless. My only gripe would be missing our train due to the bus getting stuck in the traffic, but all this being said, a final drink in town for an hour was no hardship.
We both look forward to returning, not just for the day, but to stay a while, view the Palace, walk the Tay and reconnect with the great people at Perth racecourse.