Officials at Chester Racecourse were delighted with the performance of the final race meeting of the 2010 season. An annual increase in attendance of 5% saw more than 20,000 racegoers headed for the historic Roodee to get their final fix of the Chester Races experience for this year and the team at the racecourse made sure that it was a party that they wouldn't forget.
The celebrations started early with a sensational Fashion Show, part of Chester Fashion Festival, with stars from local soap Hollyoaks providing the commentary for the show. Racegoers were also treated to a very special display from the RAF Falcons as 12 members of their Parachute Display Team descended onto the racecourse at speeds of up to 120mph. The Chester City Band were present throughout the afternoon to keep everybody in the party spirit and performed on the racetrack itself prior to the first race. Over 600 military servicemen and women were given complimentary admission to the racecourse.
The day's racing got underway at 2.25pm with the Contract Services Maiden Fillies' Stakes which was won convincingly by Pat Dobbs riding Humdrum, who is owned by The Queen and trained by Richard Hannon. The feature race of the day, the Raymond & Kathleen Corbett Memorial Handicap Stakes, was broadcast live by Channel 4 and won by Opera Gal ridden by Franny Norton.
The final race of the 2010 Chester season, The free £15 bet at corbettsport.com Handicap Stakes, was won by Dubara Reef ridden by Silvestre De Sousa who led over one furlong out. Owned by a local syndicate, ‘The Forty Aces’ who paid just £1000 for the horse, it has won four times this year, earning nearly £12,000 in prize money!
Richard Thomas, CEO of Chester Race Company commented: “Today has been a fitting end to an amazing season for all of us here at the racecourse - we have seen almost 300,000 people attend our race meetings this year which is a huge 12% annual increase on last year's figures.
“This level of growth is key to an ever-developing business such as the Race Company but it also brings huge benefits to the local economy for Chester and its surroundings. Latest research has shown that each race day adds over £1m to the local economy which is why we are pleased to announce that Saturday 11th June will be a new fixture for 2011.
“I am very proud of the team working at the racecourse; these excellent results are down to their hard work and dedication.”
Rob March, Head of Marketing and Communications for Chester Race Company Ltd added: “The 2010 race season has been the most successful in recent history, we have seen huge growth across the business. We have delivered some exceptional high profile events including the visit from HRH The Queen in June, the official launch of the Rhino Mania event in July and the glitzy Hollyoaks Soapstars Charity Ball last week.
“In addition, regional sporting stars such as the Manchester Utd squad, as well as celebrities, are always in attendance at the Roodee, which always adds to the Chester Races experience. We will look to build on this success for 2011 and are already investigating opportunities to bring other large-scale events to the region.”
Tickets for the 2011 season are now on sale and can be purchased online via chester-races.com or by calling 01244 304 610.