UP to 50,000 racing fans will gather at the Roodee for the July Festival next week.
The highlight of the Friday evening-Saturday afternoon meeting is the Channel 4 televised VIGIA Group City Walls Stakes. Like a number of high-class sprints - and particularly so on a racecourse like Chester - it's a race that has attracted 'specialists' over the years.
The two most recent could meet again in the five-furlong dash worth £30,000. Last year's winner Fire Up The Band has had the better of it of late against the 2002 and 2003 victor Bishop's Court. Both are trained in The North, by Dandy Nicholls and Lynda Ramsden respectively.
The horses are regular combatants - between them they've also won Epsom's Vodafone Dash at The Derby meeting three times - and Fire Up The Band went on to there from Chester's May Festival this year where he had won the VCbet Handicap.
The ultimate sprint horse around the Roodee was the redoubtable Tedburrow, winner of the City Walls Stakes three years in a row between 1997 and 1999.
He ran his final race last summer when he was 12, and is now enjoying a happy retirement with his best pal Tilly, a Shet-land pony, at the Lancashire stables of the man that trained him, Eric Alston.
The last local winner of the City Walls Stakes was more than a few years ago. Cotebrook trainer Alan Bailey was responsible for Never So Sure, back in 1992.
Meanwhile, anyone who opens an account with Chester Races Casino or Poker (www.chester-races-poker.com and www.chester-races-casino.com) could win a chauffeur-driven and Champagne day out at the races on either Saturday, July 9 or Sunday, July 31.
The first race at Chester on July 8 is 6.30pm with the following day's action beginning at 2.20pm. For ticket information, contact 01244 304610 or visit www.chester-races.com.
The next racing at Bangor-on-Dee Race-course is on Friday, July 29.
More information is available at www.BangorOnDeeRaces.co.uk, or contact the racecourse on 01978 780323.