VISITORS coming to Chester Racecourse for the second year of the three-day August Festival of Racing, Food & Drink will see horse racing with a difference, too.
As well as three days of thoroughbred racing, there will be races around The Roodee during the first two days under the auspices of the four-year-old Arabian Racing Organisation.
On Thursday, August 28, there's an open race over a distance of just under a mile while, on the second day of the festival, there's a handicap race for apprentice riders over 10 furlongs. Each race will be run prior to the start of scheduled racing.
The sport of Arabian Racing is growing in popularity. Just last month, more than 10,000 people attended a full Arabian Racing meeting at Newbury Racecourse.
Professional jockey Richard Hills, who is frequently seen riding on The Roodee in thoroughbred races, takes part in Arabian Racing. He is, of course, the son of Barry Hills, one of the most successful trainers at Chester - in particular the May Festival.
Current Flat racehorse trainer Gay Kelleway, a top professional lady rider in the past, still rides Arabian horses, while Ann Duffield, wife of veteran Flat jockey George, is high up in the 2003 Arabian Racing trainers' championship.
The August Festival of Racing, Food & Drink is a showcase and celebration of what is best about food and drink in the North West. Supported by North West Fine Foods, Made in Cheshire, and the Northwest Food Alliance, the event is being promoted throughout Chester.
Admission to the County Stand Concourse is £25 (Thursday and Friday) and £30 (Saturday), to Tattersalls & Paddock £17 (Thursday and Friday) and £20 (Saturday), for the Dee Stand £7 on each day and for the Open Course £5 on each day.
First race times are scheduled for 1.45pm, 1.40pm and 2.25pm. 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 tomorrow The first race is scheduled for 2.05pm. Admission to the Course Enclosure is £6, while the Paddock Enclosure is £12. Accompanied children enter free.
More information is available on the website www.BangorOnDeeRaces.co.uk or contact the racecourse on 01978 780323.