Bid for Best Dressed Lady crown almost comes unstuck

Everything was going grand for Pamela Uba as Ladies Day at the Galway Races dawned.

Bid for Best Dressed Lady crown almost comes unstuck

Everything was going grand for Pamela Uba as Ladies Day at the Galway Races dawned.

The Ballyhaunis woman had decided about three months ago that she would be making for Ballybrit. The original dress chosen had long been ditched for an eye-catching two-piece jumpsuit thingy from Phoenix V, who have outlets in Cork and Dublin. The hat, from Roscommon milliner Laura Hanlon, was a case of love at first sight.

Galway’s Pamela Uba, winner of the Best Dressed Lady competition. Picture: Inpho/James Crombie
Galway’s Pamela Uba, winner of the Best Dressed Lady competition. Picture: Inpho/James Crombie

Then came the glitch in the form of a stubborn zip.

A temporary setback, thankfully, for the 24-year medical scientist who is working in University College Hospital Galway and about to begin a masters in Trinity College Dublin. By 3pm, she had been voted the Her Best Dressed Lady and that’s a status that comes with considerable added benefits.

Current Miss Ireland Aoife O’Sullivan, Ballinadee, Co Cork. Picture: James Crombie
Current Miss Ireland Aoife O’Sullivan, Ballinadee, Co Cork. Picture: James Crombie

A trip to the Seychelles, courtesy of Emirates Holidays, €3,000 in cash, and a blizzard of media interviews on a bright and blistering summer’s day all added to the bounty. Fair play to her, she wasn’t fazed by a bit of it. “It’s amazing.” she said. “I can’t begin to describe it.”

Well, she did manage a few more words.

Victoria Beckham is one of her fashion icons and Uba felt her winning outfit had a hint of the English designer’s work about it.

Aine O’Reilly, a dressmaker from Longford, at Ladies Day. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Aine O’Reilly, a dressmaker from Longford, at Ladies Day. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Whatever the inspiration, it won the approval of the judges — broadcaster Síle Seoige, Rosanna Davison and Her’s Gillian Fitzpatrick — who, in true Galway Races style, had arrived at the track by helicopter.

The Galway Races has long been a highlight of the Irish summer and it was blessed with a day-to-die-for yesterday as the City of Tribes again acted like a magnet for folk from far and wide: the Best Dressed finalists included entrants from places as diverse and Cork and Colombia.

Carlha Linares, from Colombia, enjoying the racing. Picture: Inpho/James Crombie
Carlha Linares, from Colombia, enjoying the racing. Picture: Inpho/James Crombie

The beauty of the races is that they mean one thing to some people and something else entirely to others. You might think that the general rule of thumb is that the age profile rises the closer you get to the parade ring and drops with every step towards the bar but that’s far from the case.

A perennial favourite it may be, but more than the fashion changes around here. Maybe the most arresting sight this week has been that of AP McCoy, Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty, three of the greatest jockeys of their generation, dressed in their civvies.

Rebbecca Foley from Kilkenny at the Galway Races. Picture: Hany Marzouk
Rebbecca Foley from Kilkenny at the Galway Races. Picture: Hany Marzouk

The first two are retired, Walsh only since earlier this year, and Geraghty is still recovering from a broken leg. The net effect was akin to scratching the names of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic from the men’s singles at Wimbledon. Somebody had to step up in their absence. The fact it was Robbie Power was no real surprise.

It was Power who claimed the day’s feature race, the Guinness Galway Hurdle Handicap, for trainer Tony Martin with Tudor City. The man with most to cheer here this week has been Willie Mullins whose three winners yesterday brought to seven the number of firsts for him since Monday.

No change there, then.

Competition hopefuls at Ladies Day at the Galway Races. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Competition hopefuls at Ladies Day at the Galway Races. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.