CHESTER Racecourse has broken its total prize fund record for 2024, with the £3.275m on offer across its 15 racedays representing a 17 per cent increase on 2023.

The commitment to bolstering prize funds by the world’s oldest operating racecourse, owned by Chester Race Company, will see more than £1.3m offered across the three days of the prestigious Boodles May Festival, from Wednesday, May 8, to Friday, May 10.

Uplifts in the race values of the 200-year-old Chester Cup (£170,000), the Group 3 Boodles Chester Vase, Group 3 Ormonde Stakes (both £140,000) and the Listed Weatherbys Cheshire Oaks (£120,000) help contribute to a 13 per cent increase in the Boodles May Festival prize fund versus 2023.

Outside of the May showpiece, all other racedays will be worth more than their 2023 equivalents, with no race run for less than £15,000.

In addition to these significant increases to prize money, the racecourse has also enhanced its offering for 2024’s leading trainer, with the winner to receive £10,000 for the yard, alongside a case of champagne and The Bobby McAlpine Trophy. This is a perpetual trophy named in memory of Chester Race Company’s former Chairman and Honorary President.

Louise Stewart, Chief Executive Officer at Chester Race Company, said:

“Our team work extremely hard to make sure Chester is an efficiently run racecourse, so in spite of the challenging economy and increasing cost pressures, I am delighted that we have been able to achieve both a 17% increase to prize money and a £15k minimum race value for the season.

“Chester consistently invests in the overall guest experience and is renowned for its excellent Owners and Trainers experience, having been awarded Gold Standard by the ROA since its inception.”