Grand National: Ladies Day sees glitz and glamour return to Aintree

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Women pose for photos on Ladies Day at AintreeImage source, Reuters
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Huge hats and fabulous fascinators were the order of the day for many racegoers

The traditional glitz and glamour of Ladies Day has returned to the Grand National meeting for the first time in three years.

The second day of the annual meeting usually sees a parade of colourful couture take over the Aintree racecourse.

However, Covid regulations curtailed the famous race meeting in 2020 and 2021, keeping the fashionistas away.

Racegoers told BBC North West Tonight it was "good to be back".

One woman said her tickets had been "rolled over" from the previous cancelled years, "so we're really looking forward to today", while another said it would be "a big one".

Image source, Reuters
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Green and hot pink are the favourite colours of the season
Image source, PA Media
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Unlike the festival's opening day, the crowds were met with blue skies, which meant sunglasses all round

Gill Carpenter, from Lydiate on Merseyside, said she had been to Ladies Day every year since she was a teenager.

"I think people are just so happy to be back, to be out, to see the style and to see people in person again," the 55-year-old said.

"They tried to do it virtually and it was great, it kept us going, I dressed up at home and all of that, but to actually be here and the sun be out is just magical."

Jeanette Heaps, from Rainhill in St Helens, said it was her first time enjoying the spectacle and she was "buzzing already".

"The sun is shining and it's amazing, I absolutely love it," she added.

Image source, PA Media
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It was not just the official photographers taking pictures around the course
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Many of the spectators used the colourful backdrops to take selfies in the sunshine
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Outfits of almost every shade and style have been paraded around Aintree

Maya Killcross, from Port Sunlight on the Wirral, said she had made part of her outfit herself, by sticking butterflies on her fascinator to match her dress.

The 20-year-old said she had been been planning what to wear "for months", adding: "It's like two years' worth of outfit, because you have to make up for not having one last year."

Robert Jackson, from Hull, travelled to Aintree with his wife Edyta and said he thought everyone was making the most of being able to enjoy the racing live.

"I think today is a kind of coming out, an adventure, for everybody to enjoy and embrace," the 58-year-old said.

Image source, PA Media
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Thousands of spectators enjoyed a full day's racing at the course
Image source, EPA
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The crowds enjoyed every minute of the racing, though some more than others
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For some, it was not just a day to celebrate fashion, but also a win on the racing
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Spectators were entertained by BBC 6 Music DJ Craig Charles after the racing ended for the day

The three-day meeting, which is expected to draw more than 150,000 spectators, will end with the world-famous steeplechase on Saturday.

Dickon White, North West regional director for Jockey Club Racecourses, said the course had sold out for the big race.

"That shows people have really been craving live events, particularly live sporting events," he added.

More from the Grand National

Image source, Reuters
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Alongside showing off the fashion, there was also the business of choosing a winner in the races
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Ladies Day has become a day for the men to dress up as well
Image source, PA Media
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Not all the women around the course were wearing bright colours for fashion reasons
Image source, BTP Merseyside
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BTP Merseyside tweeted a picture of their own special lady - police dog Dottie, who was dressed up and ready to help

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