A true Cestrian tradition, the anticipation for Chester Races over the past few weeks has been palpable, as the city prepared to play host to three days of nail-biting and ultra-glamorous horse racing; the first to take place since The Roodee was officially confirmed the oldest active racecourse in the world. The Boodles May Festival marks the first event on the calendar for the racing season in Chester, with onward meetings spanning all through summer and culminating in the season finale at the end of September.
Chester Races are celebrated for combining the excitement of horse racing with an exceptional spectator experience, and the Boodles May Festival was certainly no different. Not only do the racecourse’s venues – such as Restaurant 1539 and The White Horse – go the extra mile, the entire city’s bars and restaurants prepare for some of the busiest and most exciting days of the year. People travel from around the globe to experience Chester Races and all the city has to offer, and who can blame them?
In spite of the less than favourable weather on all three days of the Boodles May Festival this year, the spirit of the crowd – brollies in hand – wasn’t dampened and they turned up in their thousands to make the most of the day. It was clear that the grey skies and pouring rain were no match for the stylish ensembles and glamorous get-ups worn by the race-goers.
In fact, on Friday – the final day of the festival – over 23,000 people turned up to make the most of the (brief) sunshine and to see who would take home the illustrious SportPesa Chester Cup. To top it off, it was local legend, jockey Franny Norton, that stormed to a surprising yet comfortable victory on Making Miracles.
Despite the woesome weather, the Boodles May Festival was a resounding success, kicking off the racing season with a bang. As the summer draws on, the excitement at Chester Racecourse is only set to get greater.