Chester is the oldest racecourse in England that is still in use. It is also known as the Roodee. Near the centre of the field lies a raised mound that is decorated with a small cross called a ‘rood’, which explains the name. Chester racecourse lies on the banks of River Dee.
The Chester Racecourse field was used for the Goteddsday, which was a famous and bloody event until its abolishment and replacement with horse racing in 1533. With the permission of Mayor Henry Gee, the first race took place in 1539. The name of the Mayor led to ‘gee-gee’ being used to refer to horses. After horse racing began, the races followed the Goteddsday routine of Shrove Tuesdays .The routine went on until the races dates were moved to St George’s day early 17th century. In 1824, the May festival, which still takes place, premiered in the Tradesmen’s Cup. That’s when the current Chester Cup was inaugurated. Any event at Chester Racecourse is a must-attend for serious connoisseurs due to its list of longest running race events in the UK.
Important races at Chester Racecourse
Chester racecourse has staged some of the brilliant tracks that are impossible to forget like;
– The Chesire Oaks which has been an open event since 1950 for fillies running a 1 mile, 3 furlongs, and 79 yards distance. This game acts as a warm up for the Epsom Oaks race.
– The Chester Cup, which takes place during the May festival and is open for thoroughbreds of four years and above running a distance of 2 miles, 2 furlongs and 147 yards.
– The Huxley Stakes that is a Group 3 with a distance of 1 mile, 2 furlongs and 75 yards open for thoroughbred horses of four years and above
– The Chester Vase which is open for three-year-old colts and geldings.
– The Dee Stakes named in honor of River Dee which is a Group 3 race open for three-year-old colts and geldings.