With the 2018 Chester Races season almost upon us we thought we'd share some interesting facts about The Roodee .

1. Chester Racecourse is the oldest racecourse in the UK if not the world. Racing has taken place on the Roodee turf since 1539.

2. Chester Racecourse is also one of the smallest you'll see, with a full circuit being just one mile and one furlong (1.8k). The tight nature of the track and the position of the crowds either side of the finish make for a fantastic atmosphere and can be imposing for the horse and jockey.

3. Almost 300,000 racegoers visit the racecourse each season.

4. There are 15 fixtures each year running between May to September, beginning with the Boodles May Festival on May 9,10 and 11.

Jockeys get ready for the race

5. The opening three days of the season is the prestigious Boodles May Festival with 21 races run over three days and a total prize fund of over £1million.

6. Day one of Chester's racing season (City Day) serves as a trials day for both the Epsom Derby and Epsom Oaks and in 2017 winner Enable and second placed Wings of Eagles from both the Cheshire Oaks and Chester Vase went on to win at these prestigious races.

7. There are two family themed fixtures during the season – Roman Day and Family Funday where there’s even more on offer for youngsters including pony rides and face painting.

8. It's free for kids to attend any raceday at Chester – those aged 17 and under can attend free of charge and at every weekend fixture there are free activities out on the open course for younger racegoers to enjoy.

9. Chester Racecourse is open all year round and has two on course restaurants: The White Horse and 1539, both offer hospitality on a raceday but are open 365 days a year to the public. There is also an on-course hotel should you wish to extend your visit and stay over at the Holiday Inn Express.

10. Chester Races tickets start at just £10 per person making a raceday affordable for all. There are also ticket offers throughout the year meaning racegoers can benefit from discounts on selected fixtures. You can also purchase an annual membership for £529, which gives you entrance to all 15 fixtures at Chester and all 14 at sister course Bangor on Dee.

A full list of Chester Races 2018 fixtures can be found here . To book tickets visit chester-races.co.uk .