Further Updates to Boodles May Festival Announced | Chester Racecourse

Further Updates to Boodles May Festival Announced

Huxley Stakes becomes first Group 2 to ever be run at Roodee

Chester Plate to be introduced to provide an opportunity for those denied a run in the Chester Cup

Prizemoney at the Boodles May Festival to be in excess of £1 million

Chester is delighted with the news that the European Pattern Commitee has upgraded the HomeServe Huxley Stakes to a Group 2 contest. This reflects the race's tremendous records and winners over the years, including Debussy, Noble Mission and most recently; Deauville. The prizemoney for the race will be increased to £125,000, a 66% increase from 2017's figure of £75,000.

Brand Director of HomeServe - John Greaves, sponsors of the HomeServe Huxley Stakes said;

“We’re thrilled to be associated with this historic milestone for Chester Racecourse. As first-time sponsors of the Huxley Stakes, it’s fantastic to be part of this story and we look forward to congratulating a worthy winner on the day.”

This news adds further excitement to the changes to the running order which have already been announced, with the 188BET Chester Cup moving to the Friday to create a natural crescendo to the festival. The trials contests will take centre stage on opening day, with the 100th running of the MBNA Chester Vase and Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks. These are the races that could produce the winners of the Investec Derby and the Investec Oaks and 2017 saw both Wings of Eagles and Enable go on to do just that.

The changes to the festival are completed with the introduction of the 188BET Chester Plate as the final race on the Friday. This consolation race for the centrepiece of the festival, the 188BET Chester Cup, is sure to prove popular and will be only the second race during our entire season run over the Chester Cup distance.

188BET’s Managing Director, Nigel Singer added;

“Following the success of our sponsorship of the 2017 Chester Cup we are pleased to agree to become the official partner of the Boodles May Festival in 2018.  Not only will this allow us to continue our sponsorship of the prestigious 188BET Chester Cup, it will also allow us to lend our name to the inaugural running of the 188BET Chester Plate.  This is hugely exciting as is the opportunity to again work alongside the team responsible for one of the UK’s premier racecourses.”     

The prize fund at this year’s Boodles May Festival will exceed £1,000,000 for the first time, representing a substantial uplift of over 30% on the previous year’s figure of £781,000. Chester continues its commitment to horsemen, ensuring that owners of every horse that runs across the three days will leave with at least £500 and this pledge will continue into the remaining 12 days of the racing calendar. Chester recognises Owners as being integral to the growth of the industry and in recognition, was awarded the ROA Gold Standard Award for the 10th consecutive year at the 2017 ROA Horseracing Awards. Further initiatives to benefit visiting Owners will be announced in advance of the new season.

Chester Race Company Chief Executive, Richard Thomas concluded;

“This year’s Boodles May Festival is set to be the best yet. The changes we have implemented across the running order, the increase in prize money and infrastructure improvements at the Racecourse will ensure we deliver a spectacular experience for horsemen, racegoers and viewers alike. We have fantastic support from our partners in 2018 and look forward to the start of another season of competitive racing on the Roodee and producing some excellent victors.”