While Brits of all stripes love the races, the ladies are the ones who always seem to make the most of the opportunity to get dressed up and indulge in some merriment.

The Cheltenham Festival, currently underway without a crowd due to Covid, is no exception.

This year's Ladies Day will take place on Wednesday (March 17), behind closed doors, but it follows years of boozy antics.

While many racegoers make sure to look their best every day of the four-day festival, Ladies Day is the one on which they really go all out.

Women are encouraged to dress to the nines on this particular day, with elaborate fascinators, high heels and short skirts all making an appearance.

Female attendees of races in the past took full advantage of Ladies Day, making sure they were dressed to kill and ready for revelry – even if things sometimes took a turn for the worse.

Ladbrokes explains: "For the uninitiated, Ladies' Day can seem intimidating, with flocks of beautifully-dressed women taking over the viewing stands accompanied by men in tails, tweeds or three-piece suits.

"The day typically combines some of the most exciting races on the calendar with the chance to get dressed up to the nines and compete to win 'best dressed lady'.

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"Many racecourses offer prize packages for the winner and runner(s) up.

"There is often a strict dress code for all enclosures (except the family enclosure) on Ladies' Day."

On the official website for the Cheltenham Festival, the Jockey Club says there is no official dress code, although "smart is preferable and is often adopted".

"The weather in March can be unpredictable, so we would advise you to check the forecast and dress accordingly," the website reads.

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"From feathers to tweed, dresses to hats, anything goes at The Festival. Gentlemen usually wear a suit or similar, and ladies often opt for hats, in all enclosures and our restaurants and hospitality facilities.

"Two-thirds of our car parks are on grass, including most public car parks, so please do bear this in mind and wear suitable footwear for the conditions.

"Fancy dress is permitted as long as the outfit is not offensive and we reserve the right to decline entry should the need arise. Please note, fancy dress is not permitted in the Club enclosure."

Plunging necklines and bare legs are a staple of Ladies Day fashion for the braver attendees who can handle a bit of chilly March air.

Drinking is another staple of the event, with security cracking down on intoxicated behaviour in recent years.

While the lads are never without a beer in hand (usually Guinness for the festival which typically coincides with St Patrick's Day), the women of Cheltenham tend to go for wine or champagne – and they certainly don't do things by half.

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One woman was spotted downing a bottle of prosecco on Ladies Day in 2015.

Another polished off an entire Moët the following year, although in fairness it was just a miniature bottle.

Racegoers should also remember to drink enough plain water throughout the day to avoid dehydration, which can intensify the effects of alcohol.

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It's not just beverages that get consumed at the event, with plenty of delicious snacks sold at the racecourse.

In 2018 these women took a break from walking around in their sky-high stilettos to perch on the steps and wolf down a couple of burgers to keep them going.

A message on the Jockey Club website states: "Please kindly note that bringing your own alcoholic drink on site is strictly prohibited.

"Cheltenham operates a responsible drinking policy and all staff are trained to the highest standards.

"Please note that visitors to Cheltenham Racecourse will be restricted to buying up to four alcoholic drinks at a time."

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