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Perth supremo Morshead to step down at end of year

31 July 2015

Sam Morshead, credited with transforming the fortunes of Perth racecourse, is to step down from his role as general manager at the end of the year. A former jump jockey who rode over 400 winners, Morshead is to retire after more than 25 years since arriving at Britain’s most northern course.Crowds that were among the lowest in Scotland when he took over are now among the highest and during his time in office Morshead has overseen £6 million of developments, including the£1.4m boutique lads’ hostel which is due for completion this year.  

Morshead, who has been receiving treatment for prostate cancer, said yesterday: “I have had the most fabulous time and I have worked with an awesome chairman in David Whitaker and the most wonderful team. I love them all to bits.“It’s ironic that when I was playing at being a jockey I thought I could do it, but obviously couldn't. When I took Perth on I didn't think I’d be able to do it but I found I was blessed with the ability to get out hers to do things for me – I could ‘talk the talk’! “It’s been a very rewarding journey and I've enjoyed every minute of it.

”Morshead, who famously did a cartwheel in the winner’s enclosure to celebrate the first Perth festival in 1989, added: “It’s time for me to plan a trip to compete with bears for salmon in the Rockies and spend time with my children and first grandchild.“I still want to do my Tay Challenge Surf and Swim. With some improvement in my condition expected, I’ m determined to do that this year.”Hazel Peplinski, currently racing manager and director at Hamilton and clerk of the course at Kelso, will take over from Morshead. She said: “When Sam asked me if I would carry on his good work at Perth it immediately felt a very exciting fresh challenge.“Sam’s retirement is the end of an era for Perth but there is a fantastic team already in place and we will continue the business of creating fun for all who visit.”

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