Chester Racecourse

Chester Racecourse, also known as 'Roodee' or 'Roodeye', is located in what has been likened to a natural amphitheatre, in the heart historical town of Chester. Considered the oldest racecourse in the country, and one of the toughest at that, Chester hosts well-attended events that never fail to get the pulse going just that little bit more.

Map To Chester Racecourse

Address: The Racecourse, Chester, CH1 2LY
Phone: 01244 323 170

History of Chester Racecourse

Chester Racecourse was originally the site of the Goteddsday football match, a game to put the bloodsports of today to shame. As one of the most brutal events of the year, involving unlimited numbers of bloodthirsty locals, the game was banned in 1533 for being too violent - which meant something at a time where violence was a much laxer concept than it is today. Still, the locals wanted to be entertained and in 1539, on February 9th, the first horse race on the grounds was recorded.

Until 1906 the horse races followed in the tradition of the football match of being held on Goteddsday, Shrove Tuesday; but were moved to St George's Day in the early 17th century. The May Festival, which is still held today, premiered in 1766; the Tradesmen's Cup, today the Chester Cup, was inaugurated in 1824.

With some of the longest running race events in the United Kingdom and a track packed with history, Chester is a must-attend for all serious racing connoisseurs.

Notable Races at Chester Racecourse

Staging some of the finest Flat races around, the highlights of the season at Chester Racecourse include:

  • The Cheshire Oaks - An event open to thoroughbred fillies, run over a distance of 1 mile, 3 furlongs and 79 yards. It is a Listed race and has been conducted since 1950; it also serves as a warm up for the Epsom Oaks race.
  • The Chester Cup - This historical race, in action since 1824, runs over a distance of 2 miles, 2 furlongs and 147 yards, and is open to thoroughbreds aged four and older - run during The May Festival.
  • The Huxley Stakes - Is a relatively new Group 3 event over a distance of 1 mile, 2 furlongs and 75 yards, introduced in 1999. It is open to thoroughbred horses aged four and older.
  • The Chester Vase¬ - celebrated its 100th birthday in 2007. This race is open to three-year-old colts and geldings, and runs over 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 66 yards.
  • The Dee Stakes - Named in honour of the River Dee, this Group 3 race is open to three-year-old colts and geldings. It runs over 1 mile, 2 furlongs and 75 yards and can be traced back to the early 19th century.

How to get to Chester Racecourse

Note: Chester Railway Station is less than ½ a mile from Chester Racecourse. For those with convenient access to public transport from their home, this is the most relaxed option.

Alternatively:

The A483, the M53, M56 and M6 are all convenient roads to get to Chester. The location of the Racecourse is clearly indicated by plenty of signage on the race days.

Chester Racecourse Facilities

Polo: Not content with Flat racing action, Chester also plays host to some merciless Polo contests. The Coutts International Polo Weekend, for instance is an action packed meeting of high-class Polo talent not to be missed.

Showjumping: Chester is home to the dazzling Charles Stanley British Masters International, a Show Jumping event sure to fascinate. This three day Show Jumping extravaganza features Olympic talent and plenty of 'wow' in July.

Dining: For visitors with a taste for a la carte dining and a mature wine list, Chester opens to doors to the 1539 Restaurant, offering race day packages from £120 per person. If you want the comforts of a private table, grand buffet cuisine and close-up track action, the Final Furlong Restaurant is the right choice for you. Chester also offers the Turf Restaurant, the Horse&Jockey and the 'Mer' Seafood Bar. No matter what you are craving - Chester is sure to deliver.

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