Cheltenham: Look of the Irish wins day in best dressed stakes

Clear victory in terms of style on Ladies Day but track delivers a more mixed return for Irish jockeys

Cheltenham: Look of the Irish wins day in best dressed stakes

You tend to hear a lot about the “luck of the Irish” at this time of year.

Yesterday was more about their ‘look’, thanks to Leitrim’s Jennifer Wrynne who held off some stiff local competition to win the annual Best Dressed competition on Ladies Day.

Wrynne wowed the judges and her racegoing peers, the latter playing their part in her triumph in a competition that was held via social media for the first time, and it was thanks in no small part to a ) stunning’ green dress.

“I’m a milliner,” she said. “I made the hat myself. It’s from a raspberry silk and its high lace. The dress is from Covet which is in the Powerscourt Centre in Dublin. My little fur wrap is a vintage piece that I picked up in Paris and my shoes are by Jimmy Choo.”

At least, that’s what we think she said, fashion not being our strong suit, if you’ll forgive the pun.

Coincidentally, or not, the two ladies she saw off in the final were flying the flag for the home team and sported rather fetching outfits of their own in similarly patriotic blue and red, but it was the 25-year old from Mohill who got the nod.

Best dressed lady Jennifer Wrynne, from Mohill,

Co Leitrim. Picture: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

“I never dreamed of it,” said the Ballinamore-based milliner as she clutched a bouquet of flowers and an industrial-sized bottle of champers. “I wasn’t even sure how the whole Ladies Day thing worked here so it’s a complete surprise. Absolutely overwhelmed.”

Ms Wrynne is a regular patron of the festival and will leave a good sight richer this time having picked up a £2,000 (€2,830) voucher for a jewellers as part of her prize, though she continued to express some shock at being selected for the honour.

A clear win for the Irish there, then, but the track delivered a more mixed return after Tuesday’s nirvana when Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh were to the fore in delivering five wins from seven races for the ‘visitors’.

Mullins was again on cue with one of the three Irish winners yesterday, Don Poli’s success in the RSA chase giving the first success of the week to the Gigginstown Stud owned by Michael O’Leary who had to wait longer for his wins in recent years.

Irish model and actress Nadia Forde. Picture: Dan Sheridan

“Willie gets his three or four on the first day, JP (McManus) gets his winner on the first day, Rich Ricci gets his. I know my position,” said the Ryanair chief who also nabbed a second win with Rivage D’Or shortly after.

“That is, to wait my turn and usually that is Friday, so it is nice to get one here on the Wednesday. That’s the pecking order. Willie, JP, Rich Ricci and then the likes of me here sitting like some orphan waiting for more.”

O’Leary is no stranger to winners here, for all the tongue-in-cheek protestations about his perceived place in the pecking order of owners, but he has always been consistent in his assertion that each success is as special as the last and, thus, worth celebrating.

“I will have a copious amount of alcohol this evening,” he revealed. “It will be a strange mix of beer and champagne but we will enjoy it.”

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