THE sport of kings is to make its return on the hallowed turf of Chester Racecourse next month.

The May Festival takes place May 9-11, with the feature race on May 9 being the historic Chester Cup.

Tattersall tickets for the cup have already sold out and County Stand badges for Boodles Ladies Day (May 10) as well as Boodles City Plate Day (May 11) have also sold out.

This year’s Chester Cup (2.30pm) is set to be another superb contest with two notable entries from Aidan O’Brien (Harrison’s Cave and Apache) and an entry from Dermot Weld (Sense of Purpose) representing Ireland.

Last year’s winner Overturn will return to defend the title for trainer, Donald McCain.

Chester Racecourse chief executive Richard Thomas said: “As the longest race run at Chester Racecourse the Chester Cup is the highlight of the year.

“We are delighted with the entries and having 14 more than last year is testament to the team, the track and the growing prestige of this historic racecourse.”

The two mile and two furlong race is the centre piece of Chester Racecourse’s May Festival and is growing in popularity year-on-year with owners and trainers alike, this year there are 45 entries for the Chester Cup, 14 more than 2011.

If Overturn were to be successful this year, he would become only the forth horse in history to win the great race back-to-back following in the hoof prints of Rainbow High, Top Cees, Anak Pekan and the Champion Hurdler Sea Pigeon.

There are other notable contenders such as Neeham trained by John Gosden and Mount Athos trained by Luca Cumani, who is one of six horses entered into the Cup owned by Dr Marwan Koukash.