Over 15,000 guests descended upon High Gosforth Park for the annual Collingwood Insurance Beeswing Ladies Day on Saturday. Renowned for delivering glamour and entertainment to the North East, once again the event did not disappoint.
Following months of glorious sunshine, it was sod's law that rain and strong winds hit the racecourse on the most well attended day of the year. Never to be deterred from dressing to impress though, the crowd braved the elements and donned spectacular dresses, suits, hats, shoes and accessories. After all, there was still thousands of pounds worth of prizes to be won for being the Best Dressed Lady!
Fortuitously, the wet weather at least subsided just in time for the first of eight races, which was won impressively by Balance Of Power. This was the first of two wins on Saturday for trainer and owner John Quinn, and jockey Jason Hart.
Later on the card we staged our renewal of the Silk Series Lady Riders Handicap, a pro-am race for female jockeys only. The race was won well by Georgia Cox aboard Rashdan, trained by Hugo Palmer. This put Georgia Cox up into a share of 5th position in the Silk Series standings. The runner-up, Megan Nicholls, took a clear lead in the standings following a good ride on 12/1 shot Cadeau Magnifique. The next race is at Windsor on Monday 30 July.
After the feature race, the Beeswing Handicap, the top 10 Best Dressed Ladies were judged in the Winners Enclosure by sponsors intu Eldon Square, Gainford Group and Tyne Tees Models, who had scouted and shortlisted the finalists. Places 6th - 10th were decided and the ladies were photographed and awarded their prizes, with the final 5 to be judged after the following race.
The final 5 provided the judges with a set of difficult decisions, but ultimately it was Catherine Murrell of Newcastle who took the title with a dress that was handmade by a close friend, along with a hat, shoes and a fabulous selection of accessories to match.
Catherine went away with not only the highly coveted title, but also flights to Istanbul, an array of dinners and nights out across the North East, spa days, shopping vouchers and much more!
The racing card was concluded with two competitive affairs and then it was over to Marvin Humes to play out the event.
Having been considerably lucky throughout racing to not endure another deluge of rain, our luck ran out just as Marvin began his set. What followed for the first 30 minutes of his set was almost biblical, with driving rain, high winds and even thunder and lightning close by. 100 or so dedicated ravers put up their umbrellas (or whatever they could find), endured the elements, and made the most of the beats Marvin dropped. They were rewarded handsomely with an hour still on the set as the clouds disappeared, the sun broke through, and they then had prime position, front and centre for the remainder of the evening, as over 1000 racegoers returned from the shelter they had found to enjoy the DJ Set.
Thanks to all racegoers, sponsors and guests for making the 2018 Ladies Day another fantastic event. We look forward to seeing you all again soon, and for Ladies Day 2019 on Saturday 27 July.