Horse racing might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about fashion and glamor, but the leading meets in the United Kingdom are known for their all-out style. Aintree Festival, in particular, is known for providing an opportunity for visitors to showcase their fashion. Ladies’ Day, on day two of the three-day event, event features a style competition for women.
The Grand National is the leading horse racing event in the United Kingdom and commands a huge television audience. Over 70,000 spectators attend the race in person on the second Saturday of April at Aintree.
Over the course of the Festival, a quarter of a million people will pass through the gates to enjoy the race and the festivities around the event. There are plenty of opportunities to engage in social and business activities while watching the best in the business compete. You don’t have to know all there is to know about the sport to bet on horse racing, but if you can strike it lucky on the day, it certainly makes the trip worthwhile. An early look at the betting odds suggests that Delta Work and Any Second Now are the favorites at +800. However, the National often throws up surprises, so there can be value to be found by looking around the paddock at outsiders.
Ladies’ Day at Aintree takes place on the Friday of the week, and there are great incentives to encourage unique style, including cash prizes for the best dressed. Lucy Alen, founder of Never Fully Dressed, along with Jay Hynd and Gemma Cutting, judge the event. The only criteria required to enter is to be at Aintree Racecourse and to be snapped by one of the official photographers. The competition adds a special element to the day beyond the racing and catering facilities around the venue.
There is also the Women’s Summitfor those wishing to arrive early at the venue. Tickets can be purchased for several Q&As with leading figures in the world of fashion and sport, such as Blackmore, who became the first woman to win the Grand National in 2021 with Minella Times. There are additional food options, including a breakfast package, and a special tour of Aintree Racecourse before the racing events begin. The experience can be extremely popular and costs a bit more than the standard ticket for the day at £109 ($143), but it does provide a unique opportunity to engage in a different aspect of Aintree.
Of course, the racing is the main event of the day, but it shows that there is more to a day out at a racecourse than meets the eye, especially for a sport that is breaking down barriers between genders at a rapid rate. The success of Blackmore and Bryony Frost on the track will only further increase the popularity of horse racing with women across the globe. As a result, Aintree could be one of the top venues to visit when it comes to planning a day out in the future.