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Shire goes to the races and enjoys a day out at the Roodee Place your bets!

T

he approach to the main gates of Chester Racecourse – also known as the Roodee – is well-signposted from Sealand Road. We showed our car-parking pass and were ushered through to park on the course itself, close to the entrance to the enclosures and paddock. The day’s events began is spectacular fashion, with a gladiatorial procession led by Chester’s Midsummer Watch Parade. Featuring Romans and puppets, it proceeded down Watergate Street to the racecourse, making its way through the enclosures before ending at the Parade Ring, where the Chester town crier declared the raceday open. A troop of Roman foot soldiers then roamed across the course, happy to stop and pose for pictures with the punters to add to the fun.

Food and drink

We had Final Furlong hospitality badges, which gave us access to Festival Village, a private area within the enclosure where a restaurant marquee is set up around a square that contains half a dozen or so private hospitality tents, plenty of outdoor seating and a live band. We were shown to At the Roodee our table, where we were handed a welcoming – and welcome! – glass of pink bubbly and told that house wine and bottled beers were complimentary all day and there was a carvery for lunch. The food was provided by Chester Race Company’s catering team, Horseradish, and was certainly a cut above. We had a choice of roast beef or turkey breast, with excellent stuffing and giant Yorkshire puddings, vegetables and freshly made gravy. There was also cheeseboard that included brie, local Cheshire and blue cheeses, plus a huge array of miniature sweet desserts – our favourite was cream-filled doughnuts with caramel sauce! ‘Owning a horse, the whole buzz that goes with it and having a runner at Chester, my home track, was the start of a love affair that lasts to this day,’ says former England football star Michael Owen

Down by the track

One of the best aspects of the Festival Village is that you’re able to wander right down to the track, where you’ll find plenty of room at the rails just before the finishing post to watch the action from each race – it’s so easy, you can even do it between courses. Horses at full gallop are an impressive sight as they come round the final bend and thunder down the finishing straight, with their jockeys urging them on and the crowd yelling encouragement – all with live commentary over the PA– followed by the finish and shouts of excitement from the nearest winners. Staff with remote betting terminals are available to take your bets, and full TV coverage is available in the Final Furlong Restaurant so you never miss any of the action. It couldn’t

In the paddock

38 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2019

Chester Races JulyAug 2019 jwDB.indd 1

21/06/2019 14:58

Profile for Superstar Publishing

Shire Magazine July-August 2019  

North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Wirral, Whats on, magazine, days out, events, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, arts, craf...

Shire Magazine July-August 2019  

North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Wirral, Whats on, magazine, days out, events, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, arts, craf...

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