Chester Racecourse is delighted to announce that this year’s renewal of the Tote Chester Cup has attracted its most entries in decades.
The most valuable and renowned race of the Boodles May Festival, to be held on Friday 12 May, has received a total of 73, surpassing the most recent high of 56 in 1998.
The overall record number of entries still stands at 210 however, which came way back in 1852.
First run as the Tradesman’s Plate in 1824, the Chester Cup is a Class 2 heritage handicap open to horses aged four and over. Offering a total prize fund of £150,000, it is the longest race to be run at the world’s oldest racecourse – over a distance of two miles, two furlongs and 140 yards.
The John & Thady Gosden-trained Israr heads most of the ante-post markets for this year’s race, closely followed by the Hugo Palmer-trained Rajinsky, who finished third in 2022, and stablemate Zoffee.
The Frankie Dettori ridden 2021 Tote Chester Cup winner Falcon Eight, who finished fifth last year, is also entered again, as he aims to become a dual winner of the race – a feat achieved by nine horses previously, including Rainbow High, Top Cees, Anak Pekan and the Champion Hurdler Sea Pigeon.
Andrew Balding, a winning trainer with Montaly in 2017, is represented by Spirit Mixer, Aztec Empire and Whimsy, while Ian Williams, a successful Chester Cup trainer with Bulwark in 2008 and Magic Circle in 2018, holds the most entries overall.
Bellatrixsa, the winner of the 2022 Chester Plate, which acts as a consolation race for those declared to run but eliminated at the declaration stage, is also amongst those aiming to make the cut.
Andrew Tulloch, Head of Racing at Chester Racecourse, said:
“It is really pleasing to see this number of entries for the historic, Tote Chester Cup. It is always an exciting renewal and we are looking forward to seeing who will follow last year’s winner Cleveland, ridden by Ryan Moore, with success on the Roodee in 2023.”
Tickets for the Boodles May Festival, including Tote Chester Cup Day, can be purchased online here.