The $400,000 Group 2 Perth Cup (2400m) is Perth’s feature staying event and is fast becoming Australia’s most prominent race on New Year’s Day.
The Cup draws a 35,000 strong crowd of spectators and punters each year and has been the highlight of Perth’s social calendar for many years.
It was first run in 1887, when the race was run at its original distance of two miles and was won by First Prince.
In 1947 the race distance was increased to 2 miles 11 yards and remained the same until 1962 when it was changed back to 2 miles.
A decade later the race distance was changed to 3200m until in 2009 the race distance was dramatically cut to its current 2400m in a bid to attract a higher quality field.
Since its inception, four horses have managed to go back-to-back with Scarpia (1893-94), Cueesun (1933-34), Fairetha (1958-59) and Magistrate (1981-82) completing the double.
Wandering Wille (1890 and 1892), Artesian (1911 and 1913) and Fait Accompli (1970 and 1972) managed to win two Perth Cups but not in consecutive years.
There has been one dead-heat in the race’s history when the judge couldn’t separate Rivose and Eurythmic in 1919.
Perth’s premier staying race has been won by some quality gallopers with Wandering Willie, Scarpia, Artesian, Pheonix Park (1927), Dayana (1973) and Crying Game (1976) being the most popular winners.
What was to be the 2012 Perth Cup, was run on the 31st of December 2011, giving that year two renewals of the race.
The Group 2 CB Cox Stakes (2100m) is the key lead up race to the Perth Cup, taking place around two weeks earlier depending on the day New Year's Day falls on.