A Fashionable Day Out at the Races

The main event at the Aintree festival every year is the Grand National, which always takes place on the Saturday of the meeting. This year, The Crabbie’s Grand National will run on Saturday 5 April, and will attract more than 600 million viewers who will watch it live on TV.

But for people who prefer to mix their horse racing with fashion, then Ladies’ Day on Friday 4 April is the day to actually go to Aintree, if you have the chance. In the same vein as Ladies’ Day at Ascot, this is a day for the female visitors to the course to show off their finest outfits, hairstyles and hats. While you’re there, you’ll be able to enjoy some amazing racing action in the Topham Steeple Chase, Melling Steeple Chase and the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle.

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Liz McClarnon

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Coleen Rooney

As for what to wear, these pictures show pretty much anything goes – and it also illustrates that it’s not just the horses and jockeys who might have a fall or stumble. In fact, seeing how many people stumbled last year, perhaps it’s worth sacrificing the heels for footwear that’s a little more practical for a day out at a race course.

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April in the UK is one of those months where we can all be bathed in glorious spring sunshine, but it’s equally likely to be raining – or even snowing. So if you’re thinking of making the trip to Aintree for Ladies’ Day 2014, you’d be best advised to have both a warm weather and cold weather outfit prepared for the big occasion. Last year the cold snap that went on all spring (making it even colder than the winter) certainly made for a chilly Ladies’ Day for some people.

Of course, part of the fun of being at Aintree is to have a few bets on while you’re there, and you could get some antepost prices now at betting exchanges like Betfair, to save thinking about it when you’re there. But if you want to back something different on the day, you can always do so by using a betting app on your phone.

If you’ve got an outfit that you haven’t had a chance to show off yet, Ladies’ Day at Aintree could be the perfect place to go.

A Romantic Grand day out

If you’re ever in England and want to take in one of the British Isles’ most iconic of all sporting events and it happens to be the early spring – then the Grand National is really where it’s at.

The race has no equal the world over and is surely the most famous of all horse races, flat or jumps, in the entire world.

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From a British perspective, the Grand National is up there with Wimbledon, Royal Ascot, the FA Cup final and any other Great British sporting event you care to imagine. It has a magic all of its own.

Now for the uninitiated, the National isn’t the most prestigious jump race in the UK’s National Hunt calendar. That honour, instead, goes to the Cheltenham Festival held a few weeks earlier in mid March. This is the event for the best of the best jumpers and hurdlers from around the world – culminating in the three miles, two and a half furlong Gold Cup Chase – the world’s most prestigious jump race.

The Grand National, held at Aintree racecourse, just outside Liverpool on the first or second Saturday of April each year is a four and a half mile handicap over some of the toughest fences in jump racing. And although that toughness has been watered down a little in recent years due to concerns over animal rights, there’s still nothing else quite like it anywhere in the world.

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The amounts bet on the race in the UK each year are amazing. Jumps gambling is big anyway, but on Grand National day, a staggering £150 million (around Canadian $270 million) is wagered – with an ever-increasing amount being gambled on the exchanges like Betfair.

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It’s a tradition in the country that virtually everyone in the family has a flutter on the National, and everyone seems to watch it in the country with millions more tuning in around the world. More people are going with the big exchange Betfair simply because the odds are generally better than elsewhere as there’s no bookie involved.

So if you ever get a chance to visit when you’re in the UK – make sure you do. It really is a great day out and part of a great sporting tradition in the country going back almost 200 years.

Glastonbury – Will it be Wellies or Havaianas?

The crowds are already gathering, the tents are being pitched, and today, as is usual for Glastonbury in recent years, the rain has fallen. Because it seems that if there is one thing we can rely on in the UK, it is the weather not living up to its side of the bargain. Festivals are always at their best on balmy nights, but this is Britain, so it pays to be prepared.

With all that in mind, it seems that when we think of festival footwear, we are split firmly into two camps. For those hot, sun-soaked days, the shoes of choice can be little more than a pair of flip-flops. But not any old flip-flop, but the Rolls Royce of Flip Flops, Havaianas, beloved of celebrities from Madonna and Kirsten Dunst, to Jennifer Aniston, who seems to spend every summer with a pair  permenantly welded to her feet.

TOP METALLIC GREY / SILVER £ 15.00 click to visit Spartoo

TOP Fuschia £ 15.99 click to visit Spartoo

But what if the weather turns truly biblical? Then we can only go for the footwear that is another favourite of many a celeb, from Kate Moss to Coleen Rooney, the Hunter welly. This classic English wellington boot has been subverted from farmer’s attire by its teaming with hotpants and glitter, but is a real godsend once the legendary Glasto mud finds its stride.

ORIGINAL SHORT GLOSS RED £ 69.59 click to visit Spartoo

ORIGINAL TALL GLOSS Grey / Verne £ 91.99 click to visit Spartoo

Whatever the weather, you are sure to find a stylish option to wear on your feet, whether it be Havaianas or Hunter. But if all fails, you could always be like Alexandra Burke at the V Festival and combine the two options by wearing a pair of Havaianas wellies. Seriously cute!

 

ALWAYS SUMMER Multicolour £ 42.39 click to visit Spartoo