Perth is not as well known for its horseracing, with Melbourne and Sydney mainly holding the more significant events. Despite its lack of international acclaim on the horseracing circuit, all sorts of races are held in Perth that one can attend throughout the year. It is also a pleasant surprise for racegoers from the eastern states to find an active horseracing community when they travel to Western Australia.
The Railway Stakes
The Railway Stakes is one of the first events during the Perth Carnival at Ascot Racecourse. The Railway Stakes was first to run in 1887 and won by Nimrod and was originally a distance of 2000 meters. It has been 1600 meters in length since 1984 and has been a Group 1 race since 1979. The most recent winner was Inspiration in 2020. It is a left-handed turf race for horses three years and older under handicap race conditions. The total prize money since 2019 has been $1,000,000. Be sure to keep an eye on the Railway Stakes tips, which will be essential to find out which of the favorites are ripe for a successful race this year.
Kingston Town Classic
This Group 1 thoroughbred horse race is also run at Ascot Racecourse over a distance of 1800 meters and total prize money of $1,000,000. The race is named after the Australian Horse Racing Hall of Famer, Kingston Town, who won the race in 1982 when the Western Mail Classic was called. It became the Kingston Town Classic in 2007. A few horses have won the Railway Stakes – Kingston Town Classic double, which include Better Loosen Up in 1989, Old Comrade in 2001, and Sniper’s Bulletin 2009. Indeed Great was the latest winner in 2020, followed by Inspirational Girl, the favorite, in second place.
This Group 1, 1200 meter race was inaugurated in 1952 and was won by Raconteur. The prize money has been $1,000,000 since 2015. The qualification for this race is three years and older and has been won twice by several horses over the years. Asteroid won in 1953 and 1955, La Trice won consecutively in 1970 and 1971, as did Belinda’s Starr in 1975 and 1976, as well as Hardrada in 2002 and 2003. It is considered Western Australia’s premier sprint race.
The Perth Cup
The Perth Cup is a Group 2 thoroughbred horse race that runs at 2400 meters and was inaugurated in 1887. It offered a total prize pool of $400,000 and was classed as a Group 1 race from 1972 to 1992. First Prince won the inaugural race in 1887, and the latest win was in 2020 by Mississippi Delta. One of the owners, Mr. P.A. Connolly, had five consecutive wins with his various horses: Blue Spec (in 1904), Czarowitch (1905), May King (1906), Post Town (1907), Scorcher (1908). He later had two more wins with Jolly Beggar (1910) and Jolly Cosy (a son of Jolly Beggar) in 1922. There was a dead heat in 1919 with Rivose and Eurythmic. When Eurythmic ended his racing career at age six in 1923, he was the greatest stake-winner in Australia.
Though it may not be the most popular destination for horseracing in Australia, Perth still offers plenty of thrill and excitement to race fans in WA.