| 9.3°C Dublin

Glam Grainne's the golden girl as Irish break festival record

Grainne Seoige made a splash at the Cheltenham Gold Cup meeting when she stepped out with the cameras in tow to record a segment for ITV breakfast show Daybreak.

The glamorous Galway presenter was one of the first to arrive at the track yesterday morning as she joined legendary sports pundit John McCririck on air to review yesterday's racing card.

Grainne also had an opportunity to pose with the Gold Cup itself for the show, but kept a low profile throughout the afternoon's racing.

The mum-of-one made her ITV debut at last year's festival when she presented a fashion segment for the station's then morning show, GMTV.

Also causing a stir on Gold Cup day was glamour model Katie Price, who stepped out for a flutter alongside her new Argentinian beau Leandro Penna, who she met at Elton John's annual Oscars party in LA last month.

Dressed for the occasion in a black outfit and pink shoes, the voluptuous mum-of-three jetted in by chopper alongside her close pals, Gary Cockerill and Phil Taylor.





rivalry

The outspoken reality star stayed well out of the way of singer Lily Allen, however.

The high-profile pair have a long-standing rivalry after Lily took Katie aside two years ago and advised her to tone down her partying.

British songstress Lily explained how she made the most of her day at the races by placing a number of winning bets.

"I love all sports, everything from cricket to football to racing," the singer told the Herald. "I did put on a couple of bets. I had £40 to play with in every race and then £100 for the Gold Cup," she added.

Other punters spotted enjoying a flutter included acclaimed Irish designer Paul Costelloe, who is said to have visited Princess Anne and her daughter Zara Phillips in the royal box.



surprise

Alex Ferguson, meanwhile, was in jovial form when his horse What A Friend ranked in fourth place in the big race of the week, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with surprise winner Long Run taking the coveted title over former winners Denman and Kauto Star, who came in second and third place respectively.

While the Irish failed to win the big race of the day, a new record was set for the Emerald Isle when trainer Willie Mullins had two horses come in first place.

Final Approach took victory in the Vincent O'Brien County Handicap Hurdle, ridden by the unstoppable Ruby Walsh, while Sir Des Champs was saddled to victory by Emmet Mullins -- nephew of Willie Mullins -- in the sixth race.

"It's been a fantastic week. I've had three wins, the sun has been shining on us all week," the horse's owner, Michael O'Leary, said afterwards.

"I think my heart stopped at the second last because he didn't jump very well at the start.

"We're amazed he could do it on soft ground. It's another Willie Mullins's miracle," he added.

The impressive victories brought the total number of Irish-trained winners to 13, beating the previous record of 10 wins in 2006.

Jockey Barry Geraghty was also celebrating after his big win in the third race, The Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle Race.

Among the other well-known names who stepped out were Lester Piggott, Fine Gael Junior Minister Lucinda Creighton and FG TD John Paul Phelan.