THE people and businesses of Chester really got behind the new look May Festival and turned it into a great success.
The switch of the meeting from Tuesday-Thursday to Wednesday-Friday proved to be instantly popular.
For the second year, crowd figures over the three days totalled more than 60,000. But this year the spread was more even because of the move away from the bank holiday.
Tuesday was historically the weak-est day of the three and Chester folk much preferred to come on Wednesday and Thursday.
Those two days remained all the rage this year, of course, but the new day - City Day on Friday - was wonderfully supported by businesses in Chester.
Many companies gave their staff the afternoon off, so they could go to the races which was great to see.
We will consider in coming months if it might be better staging the totes-port Chester Cup on the middle day.
Last week, with overnight rain and softening conditions on the first day of the meeting, there was a strain on the ground with 17 runners in the two mile and two furlong race.
After the feast that is the May Festival, racing fans have a short wait until racing returns to the Roodee on Tuesday, June 8. It's the annual Ladies' Evening in association with Browns of Chester.
Those who need their horseracing fix a little sooner can go to the next meeting of Bangor-on-Dee's season tomorrow.
With no other National Hunt racing, top jockeys like Tony McCoy riding for Jonjo O'Neill after leaving champion trainer Martin Pipe's yard, are highly likely to be in attendance. The first race at Chester on Tuesday, June 8 is scheduled for 6.30pm. Gates open at 4.30pm.
Ticket prices from £5 for the Open Course to £25 for the County Stand concourse and £35 for the Long Room.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first race at Bangor-on-Dee tomorrow is due off at 1.55pm. A free bus service runs from Wrexham Railway Station at 12.25pm, returning after racing - train passengers with tickets get priority.
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.BangorOnDeeR-aces.co.uk or contact the racecourse on 01978 780323.