It’s that time of year again when no-one quite knows what to wear. The weather can really throw you off track in your fashion choices and nowhere is this more visible than in the glamorous world of horse racing.
The sport of kings is inextricably linked with fashion, particularly at Royal Ascot of course – which was always part of the débutantes’ traditional “coming out season”. But at this time of year, it’s amazing how many people simply get it wrong, turning up in a summer dress on a freezing day at the beginning of spring. The best policy is to have two outfits ready – so that on the morning you’re headed to the races, you can plump for the one that’s going to suit the weather the best.
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The third week in March is the culmination of the racing season (for which read hurdles and jumps races for the uninitiated).
Traditional Cheltenham Festival style is all about a muted classy look, with tasteful tweeds and discreet fascinators for the ladies, and most sensible racegoers sporting riding boots rather than high heels. It has much more of a country feel than the big flat race meetings at the height of the summer. However, there’s no dress code as such and over recent years, Cheltenham has become as much a talking point for its fashions as other big meetings such as Ascot.
There’s even a prize for the best-dressed lady on Ladies’ Day!
But while some women hit the mark with a perfect combination of style and elegance, others end up making fashion faux-pas with garish colour combinations or looking like they’re dressed to go clubbing rather than to a daytime race meeting. This selection of last year’s Cheltenham Ladies’ Day outfits illustrates the point.
When is Ladies Day at Cheltenham Festival 2017? Schedule, tickets, racecard, betting odds, TV times and more https://t.co/xNRtPelEpT
— e-Digi (@e_diginet) March 13, 2017
The blue riband event on the Friday is, of course, the Cheltenham Gold Cup for which Native River, Djakadam and Cue Card are joint favourites with the bookmakers according to Oddschecker. While the Gold Cup is the race that generates the most interest, each race over the four days of the meeting is highly prestigious in its own right – and highly exciting with 50,000 spectators in the crowd cheering their selections on. By tradition, there’s a huge Irish contingent at Cheltenham always – and this year will be no different. In fact, the top Irish trainer Willie Mullins has been the meeting’s most successful trainer for five of the last six meetings and is the favourite to do so again this time.
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The Cheltenham Festival is then followed by the Aintree Grand National meeting.
This year’s Aintree Grand National meeting will be held from 6-8th April and many of the girls attending the National meeting know how to enjoy themselves with a glass or two. As a result they often end up on the pages of the tabloids – particularly if they come dressed for high summer and the early April weather takes a turn for the worse as it is wont to do in Liverpool from time to time!
Still, it’s all great fun and far more tongue in cheek than its rather stuffier flat racing counterparts including the Royal Ascot meeting and others at the height of the summer. But if you really want to go and fit in, then play it safe for the National Hunt meetings, keep an eye on the weather, then bring out the summer florals in late May.
Big thanks to my contributing writer for todays post: Angela Brookes