Considered to be the oldest racing venue in England; racing around Chester’s tight Roodee track has taken place since 1539 and some 500 years on the track itself has changed very little – the city walls and banks of the River Dee shaping two thirds of the circuit.
The sharp nature of the course means that it races exclusively on the Flat and Chester’s May meeting is now considered to be one of the highlights of the Flat racing year. Highlight of the three-day Festival is the historic Chester Cup, a two and a quarter mile handicap, but the fixture also boasts Classic trials in the shape of the Chester Vase, Dee Stakes and Cheshire Oaks, plus valuable races for older horses in the Huxley Stakes and Ormonde Stakes.
Among the top-class horses to have been successful at the course’s May fixture are Enable, Light Shift, Noble Mission, Shergar, Old Vic, Ruler Of The World, Teenoso, Harbinger, St Nicholas Abbey, Pentire, Oath and Kris Kin.
Left handed, very sharp. A circular course that's only just over a mile round, it's on the turn almost throughout and has a run-in of under two furlongs, heavily favoring those that race to the fore as it's easy to find trouble with little time to recover. A low draw at Chester is a huge advantage, even in middle-distance races, and particularly so in large fields.
At Chester, for most of any race, your horse will be leading with its near-fore, the one closer to the inside rail. And you have only two chances to change that: in the short home straight, or after the winning post in contests longer than a full circuit. You need to maximise those if you want to make ground or get a breather into one, because it’s not natural for a horse to lead on its near-fore all the way. It can pay to be brave in sprints. The straight may be short, but there’s still time to ride a finish.
|Distance||Horse (Going)||Date||Winning Time|
|5f 15y||El Astronaute (Good)||10 May 2017||59.17s|
|6f 17y||Boundsy (Good)||15 July 2017||1m 5.87s|
|7f 2y||Above The Rest (Good to Soft)||24 September 2016||1m 24.52s|
|7f 127y||Dragons Tail (Good to Firm)||28 July 2018||1m 4.14s|
|1m 2f 70y||Forest Ranger (Good)||11 May 2018||2m 8.39s|
|1m 3f 75y||Enable (Good)||10 May 2017||2m 23.8s|
|1m 4f 63y||Here And Now (Good)||10 May 2017||2m 35.05s|
|1m 5f 89y||Muntahaa (Good)||20 August 2016||2m 50.89s|
|1m 6f 87y||Duretto (Good)||1 September 2018||3m 2.84s|
|1m 7f 196y||Nafaayes (Good)||12 July 2019||1m 43.81s|
|2m 2f 140y||Magic Circle (Good)||11 May 2018||4m 2.9s|
|R A Fahey||278||32||109||£390,048||11.51%||-£51.09|
|A M Balding||114||23||44||£265,808||20.18%||-£29.68|
|R M Beckett||42||11||14||£95,897||26.19%||-£6.80|
|T D Easterby||92||10||29||£69,848||10.87%||-£19.63|
|P D Evans||27||6||7||£50,954||22.22%||£8.50|
|W J Haggas||19||5||11||£94,671||26.32%||-£2.56|
|S De Sousa||36||8||6||£148,266||22.22%||£.19|
|B A Curtis||29||5||12||£30,822||17.24%||-£5.25|