Chester is a walled sitting on the banks of the River Dee in Cheshire. The first settlement here dates back to Roman times over 2000 years ago and has history through Saxon times, the Norman Conquest, The Industrial Revolution and right up to the present day. Chester, a university city, is a city rich in culture and history.
There’s lots more too. There are also plenty of bus and walking tours of the city to choose from if that appeals.
Chester is a very lovely city.
Chester hosts only flat racing.
Chester is a left handed track of just over one mile around. The bends are very tight and do not suit the galloping type. The run in is only just two furlongs. It is a considerable disadvantage in a high draw. This can be true also of middle distance races of large fields if a high drawn horse needs to obtain a prominent position.
Chester is the oldest racecourse in UK which is still in use dating back to 1500’s
Clerk of the course: Andrew Morris
Course telephone number: 01244 304610
Chester is just over 200 miles from Central London, 80 miles from Birmingham, 28 miles from Liverpool and 41 miles from Manchester. The course post code is CH1 2LY.
Course parking cost £8.
Chester Station is about 20 minutes walk away and has services to and from London, Liverpool and South Wales.
There are a few enclosures here. It looked to me that the best place to be today would have been over in the centre of the course but we weren’t allowed over there sadly. On a similar day, that is definitely where I would go for the reasons I have given below. From what I could see, there are lots of bars, eateries and restaurants over there. For me, both Tattersalls and The Winning Post enclosure were too full of people to be comfortable (for me anyway).
The dress code in Tattersalls wasn’t particular onerous, just smart casual. But in The Winning Post Enclosure, smart dress, including jacket and tie is required. That’s fair enough but I did hear a few moans that it hadn’t been relaxed on such a hot day.
The food I did have was a Pork Roll from the burger van tucked to the side of the grandstand. Okay, £6 seems a bit steep but it was delicious and absolutely crammed with pork, stuffing and apple sauce. The pizza bar looked quite decent too and reasonable priced but were just too big for me.
My Day Today
This is my second visit to Chester and for me personally, there are just far too many people. That’s not a bad reflection on the course nor the people who attended, as far as I could see, everyone was very well behaved and just enjoying their day. There was an excellent atmosphere. But I personally don’t handle crowds very well and ended up leaving after the 4th race.
I’m also of the view that £41 into Tattersalls is way too much in an enclosure overflowing with people, where it’s difficult to obtain food or drink without queuing for a while and where a decent position in the stand is at a premium. Just my opinion, but I have paid less to go into the comparable enclosure at other courses when there is a much better quality of racing (eg Newmarket on 2000 guineas day cost £35).
I thought a lot about ‘Gabrial The Wire’ in the first, particularly given his form on this course though ultimately deciding that his price was too short. Whether that’s true or not, to me he never looked like winning.
My opening salvo came in the 3rd race and concerned a horse called ‘Powerallied’. He has plenty of form on the track, much of it good form and includes some wins. He had a good apprentice on his back in Conor Murtagh and as my pal @genuinetriers (Twitter) said, the 5lb claim might just make all the difference and so it was with Powerallied winning gamely by a fast diminishing neck having been 3l clear entering the final furlong.
My only other bet was in the next race and quite simply just got it wrong, firstly by betting too short on a horse that had not yet achieved enough to warrant it and worse by just underestimating the winner from the very in form William Haggas yard. Crystal Moonlight came past the winning post first time around travelling ok in 2nd but when the jockey on the winner quickened the pace from half a mile out, Crystal Moonlight had no real answer and never got in a blow.
That was me done. I missed the last three races and made my way back to the station and home!