Top fashion tips for Cheltenham

Maya Driver

The start of one of racing's biggest festivals is only days away. It's the jewel in the crown for jump racing and its millions of followers. Over 200,000 people are set to descend on the Cotswolds in an attempt to savour the experience of one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar.

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There will be tears, laughter and lots of champagne but amongst all the highs and lows that racing provides, there will be elegance and beauty. The third day of Cheltenham is Ladies Day and vying for attention amongst the jockey's brightly coloured silks there will be plenty of eye-catching outfits on display.

The fashion awards will be as fiercely contested as the racing, with the winner getting a year's use of a brand new Alfa Romeo Mito. There will also be the opportunity to celebrate the massive contribution ladies have made to jump racing over the years with a charity race for lady riders, which is expected to raise over £60,000 for Cancer Research UK.

If you are feeling sartorial and you fancy netting a prize you will have to be off and running early, the fashion scouts will be out from 10.30 am. So how about some tips for the big day?

Spring may be upon us but winter is still in the air, so what to wear? The brave may opt for really big hats and summery dresses more traditionally associated with Goodwood and Ascot. But this is a jump meeting and you may find tailored tweed is the order of the day.

It's about keeping warm out on the course but still making the grade in the fashion stakes so smart trousers, boots and hat will help you remain stylish without catching hypothermia. Try adding a long coat in a strong colour to make an impact.

Leave your stilettos behind and opt for wedges. You can drive to the course in flats and change before going through the turnstiles. If it's really wet you could chance some fashion wellies but they should be a last resort.

Don't worry if you miss out on the first prize, there are other categories in which you can shine. As well as the best dressed lady, there will be a prize for the lady with the best hat, and the lady with the best accessories.

Prizes include a deluxe overnight stay at The Greenway Hotel in the Cotswolds, 24-hour use of an Aston Martin D89, a coat from the Tweed collection at lifestyle fashion specialists, Cousins of Cheltenham and a magnum of rose Champagne, courtesy of Lanson International.