The Boodles May Festival returns to Chester Racecourse

The 2021 Chester racing season gets underway with the Boodles May Festival from 5 – 7 May, it may be behind closed doors this year, but there’s no need to miss out on any racing action.  Find out more from Chester Racecourse here …

The Boodles May Festival at Chester Racecourse returns next week.

Although this will be racing behind closed doors, there are very special plans in place for those wanting to enjoy the ultimate virtual race-day experiences.

The Boodles Festival, the most famous and well-known racing fixture to take place at Chester, was cancelled last year because of the pandemic.

But next week, from May 5th – 7th, racing will return with owners on-site, together with their jockeys and trainers.

And for those not wanting to miss out on the action, Chester Racecourse has a programme of virtual events lined up to entertain.

Action packed race day at Chester Racecourse

All you have to do is sign up for the Chester Racecourse newsletter at: and you can be a part of the race day atmosphere. Don’t miss out on any of the live action by tuning in to ITV 4 or Sky Sports Racing throughout the week.There will be daily chats with the jockeys, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, daily tipping from Tote, the Boodles May Festival Official Betting Partner, daily round ups with racing professional together with full reports on each of the day’s racing.Andrew Morris, Director of Racing at Chester Race Company Ltd., said: “The Boodles May Festival is an incredibly important and popular date in the racing calendar. It would traditionally attract crowds of around 20,000 on each of the three days.“We are delighted to be welcoming back owners and trainers to the Boodles May Festival after a two-year break. There will definitely be a very special atmosphere at the racecourse across the three days.“It is, of course, unfortunate that we are not yet in a position where we can welcome back full crowds but we are promising all of our loyal visitors – and new ones too of course – a special virtual race day experience on each of the three days. This will ensure no one misses out on the tremendous atmosphere which Chester Racecourse is so famous for.“At the same time, we are all counting down the days to when crowds can once again be welcomed, hopefully at the end of June, providing the Government’s road map out of lockdown goes to plan.”The total prize fund for the Boodles May Festival is £755,000, highlighting Chester Racecourse’s commitment to supporting the Horsemen’s Group.The Government’s proposed June 21st date for the end of all Covid-19 restrictions is perfectly timed with the start of the summer season at Chester – just days before Clogau Ladies Evening on Friday, June 25th and the Matthew Clark Summer Festival on Saturday, June 26th.Tickets are now on sale for both of these events and for the remainder of the racing season at Chester, which includes:

  • July 9th: Ladies and Gents’ Evening
  • July 10th: City Plate Day
  • August 21st: Ladies Day
  • September 10th: Autumn Festival Friday
  • September 11th: Autumn Festival Saturday
  • September 25th: Event name to be confirmed
  • October 2nd: Season Finale
ChesterRaces 2 Days Out Chester
Lovers Causeway ridden by Joe Fanning leads the field on their way to victory in the Cruise Nightspot Handicap during the Boodles City Day at Chester Racecourse.

There will be a variety of hospitality packages available throughout the season whether it is a day/evening out with a group of friends or a special celebration for a birthday or anniversary.

Racing started in Chester – the oldest operating racecourse in the world – on Shrove Tuesday in 1539 and in nearly 500 years there have only been three major stoppages; the English Civil War, World War 1 and World War 2.  When racing was reinstated in 1946, the pent-up demand resulted in a record attendance of 103,993 racegoers on Cup Day.

Tickets for the 2021 season are available from Chester Racecourse