A shocking video showing a suited man elbowing a smartly dressed woman to the ground in the city centre has been posted on a Facebook page calling for a boycott of Chester Races.
The footage was shot on the dash cam of a city taxi driver who says it was recorded in St Werburgh Street about 9pm on Saturday following the races.
But there is no way of knowing whether or not the couple featured had been to the event which attracted 23,000 punters.
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Police are investigating the video which includes a later section purportedly showing suited men in a scuffle in Foregate Street.
Chester Race Company is aware of the video but does not wish to comment given it happened away from the course and may be completely unconnected with its own operation.
The taxi driver, whose identity is known to The Chronicle but does not wish to be named, wrote by email: “I was driving past so did not see what happened next on the first part of the video but the group fighting in Foregate Street was attended to by the police who made at least one arrest.”
The video was posted on the ‘Boycotting Chester Races’ Facebook page set up by people aggrieved that race-goers using the open course section can no longer take their own alcohol, unless they go by car into a designated car park picnic area, but can buy drinks from independent vendors.
The race company has been accused of ‘profiteering’ although Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts told the Chronicle he would have asked for such changes to be imposed had the action not been taken voluntarily, citing recent incidents on the open course.
The taxi driver continued: “The main point of posting the video was to show what most of us as taxi drivers already know, which is it is not the people from the open course that cause most of the trouble in town after the races but in fact it is predominantly people in suits wearing badges.
“I am surprised at the reaction to the video because this kind of behaviour is more common than people think when the races is on and generally gets worse as the evening goes on. If you ask any taxi drivers you will more than likely get the same response.”
On Saturday race company officials were searching the bags of people entering the open course on foot with police officers on hand to enforce the rules if necessary. One hen party was forced to quaff their bottle of bubbly outside before entering the open course.
Race-goer Terry Davies, from Shotton, was perplexed after he and his family were stopped from entering on foot because they had brought 12 cans with them, yet his brother-in-law had driven on with alcohol and had the option of exiting to reenter with their booze as well.
He told The Chronicle: “I was here when all the trouble was in the centre and I believe after they left here there was a lot of trouble in Chester, more trouble in Chester than there was here. I think this is a just a money-making scam for the racecourse itself.”