Pictured: Star Exhibit and jockey Peter Hall winning the 2019 TABtouch-Perth Cup. Star Exhibit will stand alone as a three-time champion if he takes out the 2020 renewal over 2,400 metres at Group Two level.
The 2020 TABtouch-Perth Cup will be run on Saturday 4 January at Ascot Racecourse. TABtouch Perth Cup Day is the last event of the Ascot Racing Carnival featuring The TABtouch Masters and it attracts a five-figure crowd.
The Perth Cup has a long and storied history. Here are 10 facts you may not have known about the famous race.
- It was first run in 1887 when First Prince, which race creator Alexander Forrest owned, won ahead of Telephone. Telephone returned to take out its 1888 edition.
- Originally it was run over two miles (also known in racing as 16 furlongs) but its distance changed to the metric measures of 3,200 metres in 1973 and 2,400 metres in 2009.
- From 1887 to 1979 it was a Principal race, from 1980 to 1992 it was a Group One race and from 1993 onwards it has been a Group Two race. The 2020 prize pool is $400,000.
- George Towton trained six of the first 11 winners of the race. Towton, who contributed £10 towards its inaugural edition, became the first and only person to own, train and ride a victor of the race when Wandering Willie won in 1892.
- Major owner Paddy Connolly won the race five times in a row from 1904 to 1908 inclusive and also in 1910 and 1922. Connolly was successful in every feature race on the Western Australian thoroughbred racing calendar, including four Western Australian Turf Club Derbies, five Railway Stakes, seven Karrakatta Plates and, of course, seven Perth Cups.
- Bob Peters has owned five of the last eight winners of the race, including four of the first five gallopers across the line on New Year's Eve in 2016 - Star Exhibit (first), Neverland (second), Perfect Reflection (fourth) and Dark Alert (fifth). Five Peters-owned stayers are among the nominations for the 2020 race - Forceful, Mississippi Delta, Regal Power, Royal Command and Star Exhibit. Peters is the race's most successful owner with eight victories.
- Muchea-based trainer Alan Mathews has a stellar Perth Cup resume. Mathews has saddled six winners of the race - Word Of Honour (1990), Mirror Magic (1992), Field Officer (1993), Palatious (1994), Lottila Bay (2001) and Tumeric (2003).
- Kyra Yuill became the first female jockey to win the race when, as an apprentice, she partnered Western Jewel to victory in 2011. Justin Warwick and Lucy Warwick became the first father-daughter combination to train-ride a victor of the race when Material Man was triumphant in 2018.
- Frank Treen is the race's most successful jockey with five wins - Ghurka (1949), Avarna (1952), Bay Count (1963), Resolution (1964), Jenark (1969) - and Jack Kelly is its top trainer with seven victories - Sparkle (1912), Downing Street (1917), Eurythmic (1919), Coolbarro (1930), Bonny Note (1932), Maikai (1938) and Gay Balkan (1938).
- Eight stayers have won two editions of the race - Wandering Willie (1890 and 1892), Scarpia (1893 and 1894), Artesian (1911 and 1913), Ceesun (1933 and 1935), Fairetha (1958 and 1959), Fait Accompli (1970 and 1972), Magistrate (1981 and 1982) and Star Exhibit (2016 and 2019) - so the latter will stand alone as a three-time champion if he takes out the 2020 renewal over 2,400 metres at Group Two level.
Get ready for horseplay! Head to Perth Racing to secure your TABtouch Perth Cup Day tickets and see all the events and racedays at Ascot Racecourse.