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A Guide To Chester Racecourse

May 9, 2017

Chester Racecourse is widely-accepted to be the oldest of the UK’s racetracks, as well as the tightest, and the tight-bends mean that it is only suitable for flat racing.

The “Roodee” as it is nicknamed has been a venue for horseracing since the 16th century, and it draws crowds from far and wide for what is always exciting racing. Meanwhile, the post-race atmosphere in the town centre is also something to behold, with just a short-walk to the nearest bars and restaurants, and a similarly short-walk to the hotels and bed and breakfast houses that prosper on race-days.

Chester’s May meeting is one of the first meetings that race fans pencil in to their diaries, and the Chester Cup is the highlight of this three-day Festival, even though it now takes place on the first-day of the festival, which is the Wednesday. The Chester Cup takes place over two and a quarter miles however, as in most races at Chester, a low-draw is usually a significant advantage. Meanwhile, other notable races at the May Meeting include the Chester Vase, Cheshire Oaks and the Dee Stakes, which are classic trials for the 3-year-olds, whilst the Ormonde Stakes and the Huxley Stakes usually attract some popular older horses.

Some of the popular horses who have won at Chester include, Pentire, Kris Kin, Harbinger, St Nicholas Abbey, Oath, Old Vic, Teenoso, Ruler of the World – and even Shergar.


The Course

Disgruntled punters have often compared Chester to a greyhound track but, whilst that’s an insult, the sharp left-handed track only measures slightly more than a mile and, throughout the majority of the races, horses are constantly on the turn. However, if they’re close enough to the pace and good enough, there’s a two-furlong run-in where many races can turn in the blink of an eye, and I imagine Chester produces one of the highest number of photo-finishes anywhere in the world.


Trainers And Jockeys To Keep An Eye On

Richard Fahey is the leading trainer at Chester in the last 3-years, and he loves to have winners here for local owner Marwan Koukash, however you won’t get rich backing all of his runners. Another trainer with a similar profile is local trainer Tom Dascombe, but he again shows a big level-stakes loss. Therefore, the one trainer to really note here is Andrew Balding, whose 22 winners from 96 runners have achieved a level-stakes profit of +24.21.

Meanwhile, jockeys who have the best records here include Richard Kingscote, john Egan and Paddy Mathers, though Graham Lee could be the one to watch as his 7 winners from 30 rides have secured a level-stakes profit of +26.75

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