Summer racing success at Chester Racecourse
Over 40,000 race goers enjoyed two key meetings at Chester Racecourse on 25 and 26 June
Ladies' Evening on Friday night saw a crowd of 12,600 (increased from 10,000 in 2009) enjoy a balmy summer evening’s racing at the historic Roodee. The first race of the evening, the Tetley’s Bitter Maiden Fillies Stakes, was won by Chequebook ridden by Michael Hills, and trained by his father Barry.
Ladies' Evening included the Best Dressed Lady competition hosted by Hollyoaks stars Jessica Fox ("Nancy") and Stephen Upall ("Ravi"). Over 350 ladies dressed to impress to enter the annual competition offering prizes worth more than £2,000. Ten finalists were selected and the final prize giving took place in the newly redesigned Parade Ring. The four winners and their prizes were:
1st – Ashleigh Connolly, from Chester, who won a £500 John Lewis at The Trafford Centre voucher and a beauty hamper worth £500.
2nd – Loren Brown, from Manchester, who won £300 from Coast at The Trafford Centre
3rd – Suzanne Maher, from the Wirral, who won £100 to spend at The Trafford Centre
4th – Catherine Emanuel, from Staffs, who won a meal for two at Restaurant 1539 at Chester Racecourse
Jessica and Stephen were joined by fellow Hollyoaks cast members Bronagh Waugh ("Cheryl"), Glen Wallace ("Malachy"), Jorgie Porter ("Theresa"), Keiron Richardson ("Ste"), Karren Hassan ("Lynsey") and Emmett Scanlan ("Brenden"), who all enjoyed an evening at Chester Races. Hollyoaks sponsored the 5th race, the Hollyoaks Handicap Stakes, and all of the cast members came into the Parade Ring to award the prizes.
Stars of Hollyoaks were not the only celebs at the races on Friday night: Coleen Rooney attended with family and friends in a Private Box in the County Stand.
Rob March, Head of Marketing and Communications for Chester Race Company, commented: "This evening has been a huge success. We’ve had a 20% increased attendance and everyone has really enjoyed the night. The guys from Hollyoaks have been superb, always happy to stop to pose for pictures with their fans. The response for the Best Dressed Ladies competition was phenomenal, with over 350 entrants, and the judges had a really difficult decision selecting the winners as the standard was so high overall."
The Trafford Centre Midsummer Meeting on Saturday was the busiest fixture to date this year, with almost 29,000 people heading to the racecourse to enjoy a day of glorious sunshine and seven exciting races (crowds of 27,500 last year). NO 2 Leiba Leiba riden by Franny Norton took the 1st race of the day by a nose, the Trafford Centre Always Ahead Novice Stakes
Saturday was also a day for celebrity at Chester Races with Ryan Thomas ("Jason Grimshaw" in Coronation Street) celebrating his horse’s win in the 4.20 when Ryan Style romped home in the Trafford Centre Summer Fashion Handicap Stakes.
Rob March commented: "This has been a great end to the two-day fixture; the weather has been amazing and everyone has really enjoyed themselves. It’s definitely been a celebrity packed, glamorous weekend which is exactly what Chester Races are all about. We’re all looking forward to Hollyoaks coming back to judge the Best Dressed Couple competition for Ladies' and Gents' Evening on Friday 9 July."