Chester Racecourse is an integral part of our city, lying just outside the Roman Walls, and with a choice of 17 fixtures in the calendar which runs from early May through to late September, planning a visit to the historic venue is a must-do social occasion. A full list of fixtures is available here.
The popular course attracts up to 250,000 race goers each year and was awarded an official Guinness World Record as the oldest racecourse still in operation last month, with records dating back to 1539. References to the famous Roodee site can be traced back to Roman Times.
Approaching the venue, it is clear that Chester Racecourse has been successful in linking heritage and innovation and inside the course, there is a unique mix of atmosphere, colour and vibrancy. Racehorse owner Marwan Koukash who won the Chester Cup in 2018 by an impressive six-lengths with his horse Magic Circle said: “Chester Racecourse is where I fell in love with racing.” You might too!
Most of the fixtures take place in the afternoon so there’s time to amble through Chester city centre and join in the pre-race activities on offer before arriving at the course. To make the most of your day at the races it’s worth investing in a race-card that will include a helpful page called ‘Reading The Racecard’, so all the details against each runner can be interpreted and used to help assess the chances of winning.
Whilst the food and drink options are a welcome diversion, an essential activity is paddock watching to “assess the flesh” and pick out a horse that you fancy. What to look for? A horse that is alert but not too unsettled as this burns too much energy in the preliminaries. Does the horse look fit and well? Check that the ribs are just visible and the horse has a greyhound shape belly, with a clear muscle line. Is there a swagger factor? That’s a tail which swings from side to side as the horse walks along.
The less scientific approach might include: do you like the name of the horse? Do you like the patterns that the stable have brushed onto the quarters of the horse? Do you like the colours the jockey will wear? Did the horse nod or wink as it passed by you? There is so much to take in!
Betting on horses is a game of chance. Set yourself a budget for the day – and stick to it, winning is a bonus. Independent bookmakers and ChesterBET will display the odds and special combination bets. Remember to retain your betting slip – then find a good vantage point, cheer your horse home and hopefully collect your winnings.
Horse racing is sociable, there are several dedicated places for social media photos so that all-important outfit needs advance planning – which is a Chester shopping opportunity ahead of your day out! Enjoy.