Families defied the gloomy weather and flocked to Chester Racecourse for the 22nd MBNA Family Funday.
Visitors of all ages filled the open course as crowds enjoyed an exciting line up of racing, football and family fun sponsored by MBNA.
Seven races entertained the crowds and the afternoon got off to a nail-biting start with a photo finish and steward’s enquiry in the Caldwell Construction/EBF Novices Stakes.
Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson’s horse Twenty Times ran in the third race, the MBNA Festival Of Football Handicap, and many fans were lucky enough to get selfies with Sir Alex throughout the day.
Athletes of a different kind battled against each other on the pitch in the Festival of Football. MBNA, in collaboration with long-standing partners Chester FC and Liverpool FC, revived one of the city’s ancient traditions and hosted a six-a-side knock-out junior tournament between races.
The junior teams summoned a big crowd as people gathered to watch the finals. Liverpool girls battled against themselves and Chester boys played against Liverpool boys in the highlight of the tournament. In the end, Liverpool Girls and Chester Boys were victorious.
Also on the card were performances from Flip Out Chester’s Ninjas, who showcased a thrilling array of moves and entertained the crowds with their stunts on the pitch between games.
More than 500 young artists worked hard to create a masterpiece to rival Banksy in the Graffiti Competition.
More artists were able to put their creativity to the test on a giant colouring wall which proved so popular, there was hardly any white space left as the day drew to a close.
Flip Out Chester hosted their Total Wipeout, The Toxic Drop, a Bucking Bronco and football penalty shootout competitions while younger racegoers enjoyed foot darts, human table football, ‘have a go at polo’ and had their faces painted.
Local band Yubaba performed premier funk and soul tracks. The seven-piece band got the audience dancing, with younger racegoers taking to the stage for a dance off to a mix of classic funk, soul and reggae. Young dance troupe Razzamataz added to the entertainment as they showed off their dancing skills on the pitch between the football and racing action.
The next race meeting at Chester is the popular Ladies Day fixture on Saturday, August 26.
Badges for the County Long Room have already sold out and prospective racegoers are urged to purchase their tickets before this busy Saturday fixture ahead of raceday. Tickets start at £12 for adults on the open course and children under 17 go free with a full paying adult.
For further information and to buy tickets visit www.chester-races.com or call the box office on 01244 304610.