The Cheltenham festival begins today at the iconic course in GloucesterEarly arrivals put on a glamorous display in hats festooned with colourful feathersLeather leggings, fur trims and suede boots added a glamorous touch to proceedingsAlcohol sales have been restricted after drunken scenes in...
- The Cheltenham festival begins today at the iconic course in Gloucester
- Early arrivals put on a glamorous display in hats festooned with colourful feathers
- Leather leggings, fur trims and suede boots added a glamorous touch to proceedings
- Alcohol sales have been restricted after drunken scenes in 2016
While the nippy March weather meant most people found it a little too early for floaty frocks, attendees put a chic spin on warmer country casuals as they arrived festooned in feathered hats and furry trims.
Proving they can hold their own against the glamour of Ascot and Aintree, revellers donned fashionable staples such as over-the-knee suede boots and even leather leggings.
While some racing fans opted to keep warm in huge Cossack-style hats, others braved the chill in body-con dresses and heels.
Revellers were joined by royalty in the form of Princess Anne and her pregnant daughter Zara Tindall, 36, who is due to give birth to her second child in the summer, along with her husband Mike.
The former equestrian champion is a regular at the four-day festival in Gloucester, and looked glowing as she wrapped up in a loose fitting navy coat which skimmed over her baby bump.
Zara eschewed fussy feathers and fascinators in favour of a smart grey fedora by London-based hatmaker Goldust Millinery.
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Having fun! Two revellers looked to be enjoying themselves as they had a drink at the Cheltenham Festival today
Glam! One racegoer donned a colourful floral dress featuring thigh-high splits, along with a pair of high heeled boots
Friends posed up a storm for the cameras as they got into the spirit of the festival while celebrating a birthday
Popping the champagne! Two revellers were seen enjoying mini bottles of champagne on the first day of the festival
Disco inferno! Two friends donned looked like they were ready for the dancelfoor as they stepped out in an array of sequins, including a daring red ensemble with sheer panels at the midriff and thighs
Getting the party started! It’s the first day of the Cheltenham festival in Gloucester and spirits are already running high as revellers tuck into the champagne
My Fair Lady! One girl was channeling her inner Eliza Doolittle in a white jumpsuit and a dramatic hat (left). Boogie nights! A racegoer rocked ’70s style in a sequinned catsuit with enormous statement sleeves (right)
A woman in navy braved the walk through the racecourse in spiky heels (left). It’s not all about country casuals, as this woman in leopard print proved (right)
Taking a load off! Race goers took a break from the action to catch up on their messages as the afternoon wore on
Revellers couldn’t hide their excitement as they cheered on the runners on the opening day of Cheltenham
Country casual staples such as tweed, tartan and sensible boots were out in force, with many opting for earthy tones of brown and green
The Cheltenham Roar takes place ahead of the first race during Champion Day of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival
Racegoers cheer on a winner during Champion Day of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival
Race goers celebrate Buveur D’Air winning the main race, The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
Racegoers cheer on a winner during the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase
And she added a splash of colour to her look by accessorising with a smart burgundy handbag.
Meanwhile, her husband Mike looked every inch the country gent in a checked suit and a newly grown beard.
Champion Day kicks off the four-day extravaganza, which will culminate with the Gold Cup on Friday – one of the jewels in the annual racing calendar.
A steady stream of punters were making their way through the gates before 10am on Tuesday morning, and many were keen to get the party started earlier by treating themselves to a glass of bubbly ahead of the sporting action.
However, this year is set to be a sedate affair after bosses introduced a restriction on purchasing alcohol in 2017.
Racing fans could not hide their excitement after starting the festival on a good note by backing a winner
Hugs all round! Race goers celebrate Buveur D’Air winning the main race, The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
Jockey Barry Geraghty on board Buveur D’Air celebrates winning the Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
Racegoers look on during Champion Day which kicked off at 1.30pm with the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdles, won by Summerville Boy
A racegoer kept the spring chill at bay in a very cosy-looking pink fur stole. One of the more colourful attendees stood out from the crowd in a vibrant mustard two-piece, with a statement red bag (right)
Revellers clink glasses as they treat themselves to a glass on fizz on the first day of the Cheltenham festival in Gloucester
Pregnant Zara Tindall donned a cosy winter coat, which skimmed over her baby bump as she joined revellers on the first day of Cheltenham. Her mother Princess Anne wore a very similar outfit, wrapping up in a navy coat teamed with a grey hat
Getting the party started! Revellers were keen to get into the spirit of things as soon as the gates opened
Ladies in red! Some raceogers eschewed buttoned up country casuals in favour of body-con dresses teamed with heels. One woman donned a scalloped hem lace mini dress with nude sandals (right)
One woman put an edgy spin on traditional racing fashion as she stepped out in leather leggings. Designer Jade Holland Cooper, whose label Holland Cooper is sponsoring the Leading Jockey Award, arrived in her own designs, including £899 leather trousers and a £599 cashmere scarf
A man shared a tender moment with his female companion, throwing his arms around her as they made their way in to the racecourse
One woman stood out from the crowd in a hot pink coat worn over a floral dress. Another was the epitome of elegance in a black fur-trimmed coat and teamed with a veiled hat
Following drunken scenes in 2016, when well-heeled festival-goers saw footballers urinating into glasses and women flashing their breasts, the Jockey Club decided that enough was enough.
Those hoping to buy a round of several pints will be limited to just four at a time. The cap will apply to all alcoholic drinks, including wine, beer and spirits.
Every bar will have a water point, and the closing times for complimentary bars in hospitality has been brought forward.
A racegoer celebrates backing a winner in the first race during the during Champion Day
Mike Tindall and a male friend looked animated as they cheered on the riders at Cheltenham
Feathered friends! A woman looked striking in an elaborately decorated hat (left). Another added interest to her outfit with a leopard print snood and a dramatic headpiece
Two friends kept a close eye on the action on track as the famous racing festival got underway
Security was tight with armed police on patrol as revellers entered the racecourse. They have been a regular presence at the event since the 2016 festival
Racegoers arriving at Cheltenham Spa train station ready for the first day of the Cheltenham Festival
Off to a bubbly start! Racegoers were spotted sipping from mini bottles of Moet as they got into the swing of the festivities
A racegoer digs his umbrella into the turf to check the conditions at Cheltenham racecourse
Over-the-knee boots might not be the most obvious choice with a tweedy suit but they were very much the fashionable choice for this year’s festival (left). A racegoer mixed things up by donning a pale blue suit with nude heels (right)
Competition for the horses! One woman put on a quirky display by tucking a pink unicorn toy horse under her jacket
Fur and feathers were the most popular trimmings of the day as racegoers stepped out in their finest fashions
Men were seen cleaning mud off their shoes as they arrived at the racecourse
This woman ticked all the main race day trends in over-the-knee boots, a fur trimmed checked cape and a furry hat (left). Another reveller looked equally glamorous in a grey coat with a statement white fur collar
Summerville Boy ridden by jockey Noel Fehily celebrates winning the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race
Footballer turned presenter and sports pundit Jamie Redknapp looked to be enjoying his afternoon out
A smartly dressed couple taking in the action on the course as Champion Day kicked off the 2018 Cheltenham festival
ITV Racing presenter Francesca Cumani looked impeccable in an elegant green hat (left). Another reveller showed her great taste in millinery in a feathered number (right)
Noel Fehily on board Summerville Boy celebrates winning the opening race, the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
A racegoer dressed in a very eye-catching tartan ensemble enjoys the ‘Guinness Village’ at Cheltenham racecourse
2018 marks the third year armed police have had a presence at the course, amid fears of terror attacks
Racing fans were no doubt delighted to have a day off to enjoy a beer in the sunshine ahead of the racing
Fans were eager to commemorate their day out with a selfie beside the famous statue of former gold cup winner Best Mate
Revellers started pouring through the gates before 10am even though the first race doesn’t take place until 1.30pm
Security was also tight at the racecourse, which has been patrolled by armed police since 2016.
The measure was first introduced after 130 people were killed by terrorists at the Bataclan in Paris in November 2015.
However, Gloucester Police have urged racegoers not to be alarmed by the sight of armed officers, saying: ‘Please be reassured – purely precautionary and reassurance measure. Feel free to pop over and say hello.’
There will be around 6,000 temporary staff joining 100 permanent employees working to ensure the huge event runs smoothly, with around 260,000 people expected to visit in the coming days.
Organisers this year are making a concerted efforts to clamp down on ticket touts and have been repeating messages over the tannoys, warning that people caught selling on tickets will be ejected from the site.
According to bookies, wins by some of the favourites meant that punters will go home happy this evening
Simon Munir (right) and owners of Footpad celebrate winning the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase
US entrepreneur and horse owner Rich Ricci celebrating after the 16:10 OLBG Mares’ Hurdle Action
Punters cheered on their favourites as they soaked up the atmosphere around the course, including one wearing a patriotic Union Jack waiscoat
Spirits were running high as the afternoon wore on and some of the favourites romped to victory
Barry Geraghty celebrates victory with his wife Paula in the Unibet Champion Hurdle aboard Buveur D’Air
A racegoer watches the action during Champion Day of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival
Celebration time! Racegoers put on a very animated display as they got into the party spirit at Cheltenham
Jockey Lizzie Kelly celebrates winning the Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase with horse Coo Star Sivola
It’s only just begun! Revellers were in high spirits as they enjoyed the first day of racing action at Cheltenham
A woman looked very excited as she punched the air after her horse romped home
Earlier today, Clerk of the Course, Simon Claisse confirmed the going was heavy although soft in places.
Action on the track didn’t get underway until 1.30pm, when Summerville Boy lunged late to claim a thrilling renewal of the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the first race of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival.
Tom George’s horse, a 9-1 shot in the hands of Noel Fehily, was untidy at the second flight from the finish and also the last, but he devoured the hill to get up and beat Kalashnikov in the dying strides.
According to bookies Ladbrokes, wins by Footpad and Buveur D’Air ensured punters went home happy.
Willie Mullins-trained Footpad, the 5/6 favourite was the best-backed horse of the day and emerged victorious in the Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy Novices’ Chase.
Coo Star Sivola triumphed in the Ultima Handicap Chase, while a win for Buveur D’Air in the Champion Hurdle ensured punters had the advantage.
Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes said: ‘Day one was gone in favour of the punters but just about. It was swings and roundabouts throughout the afternoon but victories for hot-favourites Footpad, Coo Star Sivola, and Buveur D’Air has given punters the lead.
‘Had Apple’s Jade won, we would have been looking at one of the worst opening days in festival history. There was a four million pound swing on Gordon Elliott’s star, so the cheers from the trading floor raised the roof when she was beaten.’
Love Island Star Chris Hughes made sure that all eyes were on him in an eye-catching houndstooth coat and matching waistcoat by Holland Cooper
A woman in a hot pink furry coat stood out from her male companions as they made their way through the course
Pregnant Zara Tindall looked in great spirits as she and her dapper husband Mike joined revellers at the course in Gloucester for a day of sporting action (left). Right: A glamorous blonde reveller looking elegant in a navy coat and hat
Two girls looked as if they had stepped straight out of riding school in their equestrian inspired outfits
A woman wearing the Zara coat that was so popular it had its own Instagram account teamed her outerwear with an elaborately feathered hat (left) A racegoer brightened up her monochrome outfit with red fur-trimmed gloves and a matching hat (right)
Racegoers arrive to enjoy a day of sporting action on the first day of the Cheltenham festival in Gloucester
Dressed to impress! Two friends went for dramatically different colour schemes but looked equally glamorous as they arrived for the event
Some revellers decided to give just a subtle nod to racing fashion with an understated hat. But others went all out with eye-catching millinery
One of the youngest attendees definitely looked the part in a fur-trimmed cape and comfortable fur-lined boots
A racegoer takes a selfie of herself with a statue of former gold cup winner Best Mate during Champion Day of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival
True blue! ONe woman looked impeccably co-ordinated in a creamy and navy hat that matched her coat exactly. Another was also looking elegant in shades of azure
A woman looked elegant in a chic black coat teamed with an elegant feathered fascinator. A racing fan brightened up her outfit with a cheerful green hat (right)
A racing fan was co-ordinated from head-to-toe in earthy shades. Another added a splash of colour to her muted ensemble with a pink skull patterned McQueen scarf
A woman looked cosy in a classic Cossack hat and tartan suit as she arrived hand-in-hand with her partner
While many people opted for muted greens and browns, this woman put on a much more colourful display in an orange body warmer, multicoloured scarf and purple beret. Another racegoer kept the cold at bay with a very cosy fur hat
Think pink! A woman looked sweet in an array of candy shades (left). Another looked the part for a day of racing action in traditional greens and browns (right)
Coming prepared! A woman dressed in shades of grey and burgundy arrived with a copy of the Racing Post. Another also went for a grey colour scheme, adding a colourful checked scarf
While there was plenty of glamour on display this afternoon, tomorrow is expected to be an even more fashionable occasion as it’s Ladies Day.
Fashionistas have been encouraged to embrace this year’s ‘splash of colour’ theme with their outfits with a Mini car up for grabs among other prizes for the Best Dressed Lady.
The Duchess of Cornwall, who is an honorary member of the Jockey Club, will be in attendance to present the trophy to the winning owner, jockey and trainer of The Queen Mother’ Champion Chase 2018.
BBC commentator John Motson donned his usual sheepskin coat for the day (left). A fellow racegoer put on an eye catching display in a pale pink suit with striped socks to match (right)
An avid racegoer showed off his huge collection of badges as he studied the course through binoculars
The Hipcats band were on hand to provide entertainment for the earliest arrivals at the Gloucester course
A group of smartly dressed friends making their way into the Gloucester course where racing kicks off at 1.30pm
A reveller who arrived with her arm in a sling was determined not to let an injury spoil her big day out. Another racegoer looked like she was well prepared for the day ahead in comfortable flat boots, armed with binoculars
A punter hands over money in exchange for a ticket. This year, the course is making a concerted effort to crack down on touting
Racegoers started streaming through the gates more than three hours before the action began
Retired jockey AP McCoy, 43, from Northern Ireland, known for riding a record 4,358 winers
US business man Ricci Rich who owns 40 horses looked smart in a grey and pink checked suit (left), while a fellow racegoer put on a colourful display in bright orange trousers (right)
Male racegoers wearing tweed during Champion Day of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival
Two revellers were seen enjoying their drinks during the first day of the Cheltenham Festival today
One couple even enjoyed a dance on the sidelines during the first day of racing at the popular event
Two racegoers were seen taking a selfie as they enjoyed the first day of the Cheltenham Festival today
Tweed was a popular fabric of choice among spectators at the races today. The Cheltenham Festival runs until Friday
One enthusiastic racegoer was seen standing up high in order to get a better view of the action
Success! Two revellers were seen celebrating a victory during the racing at Cheltenham today
One punter was seen raising his hands in the air as he and a friend celebrated a win at the Cheltenham Festival
One man was seen punching the air after watching the action on the famous racecourse in Gloucestershire today
A group of revellers looked in very high spirits as they cheered their horses on from the sidelines
Jockey Barry Geraghty celebrated victory in the Unibet Champion Hurdle on Buveur D’Air
The jockey was seen punching the air in delight as he celebrated his victory at Cheltenham earlier today
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