The first of the spring sunshine graced Chester Races this week when over 55,000 racegoers descended upon England’s oldest racecourse for the season opener, the Boodles May Festival.
As well as glorious sunshine across the three days, racegoers were blessed with fantastic racing; the most notable of highlights include a win for top jumps trainer, Nicky Henderson in the Betway Chester Cup with ‘No Heretic’ taking glory in the 181st running of one of Chester’s most famous races on the opening day.
The canopy of the new Winning Post Enclosure, open for the first time this season, sheltered racegoers from the rays of the sun and proved a popular transformation. A selection of stylish drinks from new trendy concession bars and popular street food offerings including Lebanese, proved popular with racegoers and sold out on both Boodles Ladies’ Day and City Day.
The second day provided even more highlights as racegoers were graced with the track presence of ante-post Derby favourite, US Army Ranger who narrowly defeated stable-mate Port Douglas in the MBNA Chester Vase. The warm weather brought out some spectacular fashions and racegoers were rewarded for their efforts in the ChloBo Best Dressed racegoer competition with a Luna Soul Capsule jewellery combo worth over £1,600 going to the winner. Karen Westwood from Lilleshall, Shropshire took top prize in a baby pink outfit from Coast with matching Dune shoes.
After a day of heavy rain on Boodles City Day last year, racegoers weren’t deterred this time around. A strong walk-up crowd of 22,012 were present for the final day of this year’s festival, witnessing a win for The Queen in the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes with Dartmouth and a hotly contested battle in the Leading Rider and Jockey standings. Local trainer, Tom Dascombe sealed the deal for the Deepbridge Capital leading trainer award with a win by Kachy in the Betway EBF Stallions Handicap Stakes. Ryan Moore was never caught after a great start to the festival with two wins on the opening day, but was ran close by Richard Kingscote and Silvestre De Sousa.
Hundreds of racegoers lined up for a chance to win a luxury break to Dubai courtesy of Emirates and One&Only Resorts and one lucky group of friends will find out via next week via Chester Races Facebook page if they are the chosen group heading to the One&Only Royal Mirage.
Chief Executive, Richard Thomas said: “We are delighted with the outcome of our first fixture, the three day Boodles May Festival. Fantastic weather and new facilities have been the winners this week. On track, there have been many highlights, with some great race results. US Army Ranger’s victory in the MBNA Chester Vase proves Chester Racecourse is perfect springboard for the first of the summer classics.”