Style stakes are high at Fakenham races

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The first Jarrold Ladies Day at Fakenham races on Sunday started on a sombre note as the packed crowd feel silent to remember those involved in the recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester.

But in the true British spirit it did not dampen the enthusiasm of those who had been drawn to the event by a warm sun, a largely blue sky, the promise of some close racing and the chance to dress up in summer finery and win a prize.

The champagne flowed as groups of friends, families and workmates formed parties to enjoy ‘a day at the races’.

Five cousins bonded to make it a family outing whilst two nine-year-olds from Gayton primary school demonstrated that you are never too young to dress up – and their enterprise resulted in a last minute special prize.

Many ladies - and more than one or two gentlemen - had adopted rainbow colours both for their many hats and elegant dresses or suits.

What had produced this peacock finery was the chance to win several substantial prizes in the Jarrold’s sponsored contests for the best dressed couple, the best dressed lady and the best hat.

It was a triple contest that drew more than a hundred hopefuls.

There were a total of 20 prizes up for grabs, including £250 and £100 Jarrold gift cards, double annual membership for Fakenham racecourse for the 2018 season, the weekend use of two Audi cars, lunch or dinner at Heacham Manor’s Mulberry restaurant and complimentary tickets to the August Bank Holiday Aylsham Show.

“It’s gone extremely well. We are really fortunate to have had such lovely weather,” said Caroline Slaughter, Jarrold’s marketing manager.

“I’m amazed at the number who entered our competitions.”

Winners on the afternoon were: Best dressed lady - Lorna Deller; Best dressed couple Carl and Jackie Smith; Best hat Caroline Royall.

The six-race card, Fakenham’s last of the national hunt season, was well supported.