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Chester Races 2016: Race days through the years

Snapshots of days at the Roodee in times gone by

Every year many of us get our glad rags on and go for a day out at Chester Races.

But what do we know about the history of our famous racecourse?

The first recorded race was said to have been held on 9 February 1539, having been granted the consent of then Mayor Henry Gee, whose name led to the use of the term 'gee-gee' for horses.

Race meets originally took place on Goteddsday (Shrove Tuesday) until 1609, and after that on both major festivals during the medieval period.

In 1766 a May Festival was introduced, and in 1824, the Tradesmen's Cup Race (the predecessor to the Chester Cup) was started.

The stand was rebuilt in 1899–1900, and replaced after being destroyed by a fire set by an arsonist in 1985.

 

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