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The dummies’ guide to Cheltenham

Beautiful blonde Anne Marie McManus, daughter-in-law of racing tycoon JP McManus, and Galway woman Chanelle McCoy, wife of jockey Tony McCoy, could well lead the Irish contingent of glamorous women to the Cheltenham Festival next week - the gorgeous women are Cheltenham stalwarts, after all.

Ladies' Day on Thursday will, of course, be a big draw for Irish female racing fans fancying a fashion flutter -- and we have a track record in nabbing the highly coveted best-turned out awards, too.

Last year, glamorous Kerry woman Bernadette O'Sullivan won the category of Best Accessories. The Milltown native explained how she had bought her striking umbrella at the racecourse just moments before entering the Ladies' Day competition, as she felt it might rain later.

This year, the Festival Shopping Village is expected to be bigger and better than ever, with more than 100 shops to explore -- for any woman who is travelling over to the festival and planning on finishing off her outfit when she gets there.

The Irish are travelling en masse for this year's Cheltenham Festival, according to Ryanair. The airline is forecasting a bumper Cheltenham Festival, with more than 10,000 Irish punters descending on the UK's premier jump racing festival after snapping up Ryanair flights to East Midlands, Birmingham and Bristol Airports next week.

Among the many Irish women travelling over, dozens will be planning on making the racecourse their catwalk -- our previous winners in the best-dressed stakes include Amanda Kelly from Swords, who won the Best Accessories category at Cheltenham Ladies' Day 2008.

Last year, Grainne Seoige reporting on the Cheltenham Festival for GMTV added to the Irish glamorous contingent with an array of gorgeous outfits. Cheltenham Festival will award a selection of prizes for the meet's most sartorially striking women -- there will be prizes from the Greenway Hotel, Cousins of Cheltenham, Von Essen Hotels and Stuart Holmes hair and beauty for the Best Dressed Lady, Best Accessories and Best Hat.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary's wife, Anita, is another elegant blonde with a flair for fashion who it is thought might put in an appearance at the racing festival.

If you're among Dublin's glam gang heading over and haven't yet decided on your outfit, and need some seasoned racegoers' advice on what, and, more importantly, what not to wear, visit Cheltenham Festival Ladies' Day Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CheltenhamFestivalLadiesDay.

You can save time on the day and pre-enter for the Fashion Awards simply by using the Facebook page to email your name, address and mobile phone number. You could be celebrating a win in the Champagne Bar like our previous winners.