WHEN a three-year-old colt called Bishops Court was runner-up in Chester's major July race back in 1997, no-one would have believed the same horse would be bidding for a hat-trick in the event in 2004.
But that's the position in tomorrow's Mercedes-Benz Of Chester City Walls Stakes.
As Bishops Court was competing on The Roodee as a youngster, he was crossing swords with Tedburrow who beat trainer Lynda Ramsden's charge into runner-up spot in both 1997 and 1998.
Bishops Court gave the five-furlong sprint a miss for the following three seasons but has triumphed in both 2002 and again 12 months ago.
On both occasions, remarkably, the second-placed horse has been Dragon Flyer.
And yes, the five-year-old is to go head-to-head again with Bishops Court tomorrow. What price Dragon Flyer still racing at The Roodee in five years?
Tedburrow hasn't run in the Mercedes-Benz Of Chester City Walls Stakes for two years, but he's still racing well at the age of 12. As recently as last weekend, he was placed in a race for the first time in a couple of years.
Tomorrow's big listed race at Chester has another interesting aspect. For it could turn into a 'mini United Nations' if two of the other horses entered are runners.
Steve's Champ is from the Norwegian yard of Rune Haugen, while Hideyuki Mori's Dorubako comes all the way from Japan.
Only Open Course tickets remain unsold for tomorrow, priced £5, while there is availability for all enclosures for tonight and the County Stand may well have sold out during the week.
As well as via the website (www.chester-races.co.uk), badges can be bought on the racecourse's credit card hotline on 01244 304610 which is open between 9am and 4.45pm Mondays to Fridays. General e-mail inquiries to email@example.com
The next fixture at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse is on Friday, July 30.
Admission to the Course Enclosure is £6 while the Paddock Enclosure is £13. Accompanied children enter free.
More information is available on the website www.BangorOnDeeRaces.co.uk or contact the racecourse on 01978 780323.