Exeter Racecourse concluded its season against the backdrop of blue skies and a plethora of colour as ladies and gentlemen from across the region converged to celebrate Heavitree-sponsored ladies night.
Dozens came forward for the best dressed competitions, with Daria Cernobrivec from Plymouth judged the overall winner, her stunning Karen Millan dress and headpiece by Sara Tiara clinching a plethora of prizes including a stay at the luxury boutique hotel Bayards Cove Inn, Dartmouth and vouchers from Hoopers of Torquay.
Daria, who works for Plymouth-based GA Solicitors was enjoying her first ever visit to a racecourse. “A friend invited me to come after she won some tickets. I’m Russian so it is lovely to enjoy this very English culture. The prizes are fabulous and it has certainly been a very memorable first time racing,” she said
Trudi Knapman, general manager of Hoopers and a judge on the evening, said: “We’ve loved every minute of it. There have been some fabulous outfits and everyone has made such an effort.”
Second prize went to Jill Davey from Bishopsteignton whose black dress and coral scarf combination perfectly matched her shoes. She said: “We’ve all had a wonderful time and it’s a lovely bonus to win a prize.”
In third place was Jayne Hawkings from Wellington who wore an eye catching floral dress with matching bright pink cardigan and hat. “We’ve all had an amazing time. I love racing anyway, and it’s lovely to be among the winners tonight,” she said.
Simon Knott from Withering was judged the best dressed male with his tweed suit and matching brown fedora catching the eye of the judges. “It’s a very well put together outfit and he thoroughly deserves to win,” said Trudi.
Second was Adrian Ford from Sidmouth who topped off his outfit with a Panama, and in third was Charlie Freeman from Torpoint who stood out from the crowd in a bright pink jacket.
Appropriately for ladies’ night racecourse ambassador Bryony Frost rode two winners and narrowly missed out on a third with Triple Chief, trained at Buckfastleigh by her father Jimmy, just getting beaten on the line. The 23-year-old was successful on Max Forte, trained by Chris Down at Cullompton, and Paul Nicholls’ Rhythm Is A Dancer, the 2-1 favourite in the concluding bumper.
The final of the Exeter Racecourse-sponsored intermediate point-to-point series was won by the Ben Clarke-trained Monica Tory-owned Creative Inertia, ridden by Rex Dingle.
General manager Jack Parkinson said: “It was a great conclusion to the season with a good crowd enjoying the sunshine and some good racing. It was great to see so many people making such a great effort to dress up for a night at the races.”