Grand National: Ladies’ Day kicks off at Aintree

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FAKE tans, hair extensions and some dangerously short hemlines stole the spotlight as Liverpool’s boldest beauties flocked to Ladies’ Day at Aintree’s Grand National.

An estimated 50,000 race-goers braved temperatures of 8C with significant wind chill to brighten up Merseyside in one of the year’s most highly anticipated fashion events.

Ladies' Day at Aintree is expected to attract around 50,000 racegoers. Picture: PA

Ladies' Day at Aintree is expected to attract around 50,000 racegoers. Picture: PA

In recent years the sartorial choices of Ladies’ Day attendees have garnered much attention, and this spring’s trends of neon lace, tight satin and a hefty dose of sequins marked 2013 out as another landmark year.

Decked out in everything from ball gowns to revealing prom dresses, the ladies of Aintree were anything but shy and retiring as they tottered around the racecourse in skyscraper heels.

Aintree’s annual style competition offers the winners a variety of prizes, including £5,000 cash and a photo shoot with budget clothing retailer Matalan.

The annual three-day meeting culminates in the Grand National, which is run over a distance of four miles and four furlongs (7,242 metres), and is the UK’s biggest betting race.

A smattering of celebrity faces added a touch of glamour to proceedings, including former Brookside actress Claire Sweeney, Atomic Kitten singer Liz McClarnon – wearing a hat fashioned from copies of a red top tabloid – and the female stars of MTV’s Welsh reality show The Valleys, who sported corset dresses fashioned from the Welsh flag.

Notably absent was Aintree fixture Colleen Rooney, who is pregnant with husband Wayne Rooney’s second child.

Rooney took to Twitter to express her disappointment in missing the highlight of the Liverpudlian calendar, writing: “First time in ten years am not getting ready for Ladies Day!!! Gonna miss it!! Have fun everybody!! !!”

Although there is no official dress code, smart is preferable. Hats are optional, but are often worn. Sports clothes and fancy dress are not permitted.

At Ascot bare shoulders, bare heads and high hemlines are banned, and 60 “fashion police” prowl the grounds with baskets of pashminas and fascinators to ensure racegoers dress properly.