Cheltenham Festival 2013: Day two live updates
Fancy hats and daring outfits stole the show on Ladies Day at Cheltenham Festival.
Crowds enjoyed brisk but sunny conditions and the famous Prestbury Park atmosphere more than lived up to its billing as a feast of top-class jump racing unfolded.
Among the celebrities spotted milling around near the winner's enclosure was Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
Zara Phillips and Princess Anne also joined in the festivities.
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Tonight a pensioner, who had been missing from the Festival since yesterday evening, Philip Lucas, 70, called police to say he was safe.
Read the text below to see main events and talking points from the day.
6pm: Hundreds of women came to the races wearing daring outfits in the hope of winning the prestigious Best Dressed Lady prizes.
Taking the award for Best Hat was Lystra Adams and Best Accessory went to Mary Heron.
Charlotte Hamilton, a dental nurse from Pittville, won Best Outfit.
She said: “I’m overwhelmed. It was not the outfit I was planning on wearing but, when I saw the weather, I decided to go for it.”
5.55pm: Police hailed a successful second day of Cheltenham race week.
One man was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence.
Police received seven reports of pick pockets operating on the course and a 57-year-old man from Glasgow has been arrested on suspicion of theft. He currently remains in police custody.
Superintendent Neil Mantle said: “For the huge number of people here at the Racecourse we have had a very small number of incidents and there has been a really positive atmosphere.”
It comes after seven arrests were made in Cheltenham town centre yesterday evening for various offences.
5.50pm: Cheltenham inspection announced for tomorrow.
Cheltenham has announced an 8am precautionary inspection for the chase and hurdles courses ahead of the third day of the Festival. With overnight temperatures due to fall to minus 6C, officials at Prestbury Park are again taking no chances. An 11am inspection had already been called to assess prospects for the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase on the cross-country track.
Overnight and Thursday's weather update:
The weather looks like letting up, with sunny spells being forecast for St Patrick’s Day at Cheltenham Festival.
Temperatures are set to rise to around 6C (42.8F) in the afternoon, despite a freezing start to the morning.
The mercury will stay below 0C (32F) overnight, hitting a low of -2C (28.4F).
Race goers can look forward to a warmer weekend, with temperatures rising to around 6C (42.8F).
RESULT: Weatherby's Champion Bumper
1. Briar Hill
2. Regal Encore
RESULT: Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
1. Flaxen Flare
2. Caid Du Berlais
3. Ptit Zig
Bookmakers Coral are reporting technical problems with their website.
They tweeted: "Due to sheer volume of traffic, our website is having technical problems. We're working to get it back up in time for the Coral Cup!"
It added that it was paying out more than £1million after their evens offer on Sprinter Sacre's win, and that the increased volume of punters logging on has caused the site to crash.
RESULT: Coral Cup
2. Meister Eckhart
4. Master of the Sea
Zara Phillips is going to help her husband's horse Monbeg Dude with his jumping, Channel 4 reported.
The royal, who used to live in Cheltenham, is married to Gloucester player Mike Tindall, who part-owns Monbeg Dude with team mate James Simpson-Daniel, Nicky Robinson and Michael Scudamore.
She said: "That hasn’t happened yet, but I think that might happen in the summer, but we’re still to plan it."
Monbeg Dude is now confirmed as riding in Friday’s Gold Cup, and currently stands at odds of around 66-1.
Zara added: "The boys are very excited about Friday, they love their racing and they are enjoying themselves.
"Hopefully he’ll run well, and then you just never know."
About Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, she said: "He’s a massive horse and similar to Toytown in some ways, but he’s got such fast feet for a big horse."
RESULT: Queen Mother Champion Chase
1. Sprinter Sacre
2. Sizing Europe
3. Wishfull thinking
The Queen Mother Champion Chase has started!
Paddy Power has given out "hundreds" of horse burgers today, according to a spokesman for the company.
Free horse burgers today have been lapped up by punters today as they head to the races.
A spokesman for Paddy Power, which has been giving out free burgers on Evesham Road, said: "The recent horse meat scandal provided us with the perfect opportunity to create some mischief around the Cheltenham Festival and thanks to Paddy Power racegoers can not only bet on horses this week but also eat them."
RESULT: RSA Chase
1. Lord Windermere
2. Lyreen Legend
3. Hadrian's Approach
RESULT: Neptune Novice Hurdle
1. The New One
2. Rule The World
3. Pont Alexandre
Winners Enclosure (@TWEnclosure) has just tweeted that someone has won £130,000, by betting £40,000 on Back in Focus in the first race.
They tweeted: "Someone just put £40,000 on BACK IN FOCUS in the first. More money then sense! #CheltFest
"Well done to the guy that won £130k, Still more money then sense, £40k on such an open race. Balls of steel or just far too much money haha."
RESULT: John Oaksey National Hunt Chase
1. Back in Focus
2. Tofino Bay
TV racing pundit John McCririck is understood to be "resting" after he was detained at Cheltenham General Hospital overnight.
He had complained of feeling unwell during the first day of the festival and was taken to hospital by ambulance.
His wife, Jenny, said: "John's just resting and there's no comment at this stage."
Port Vale striker Lee Hughes has been at the racecourse today.
The former Notts County striker was sent to prison in August 2004 after being involved in a car crash that caused the death of a passenger in the other car.
He returned to football after his jail term, playing for Oldham Athletic before moving to Notts County.
Paddy Power's lucky pants will be making an appearance at the racecourse today.
The company has unveiled a light aircraft shaped like a pair of pants, called Paddy Pant One.
It will be making its debut in front of punters around 1.30pm, during the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase.
The balloon holds 115,000 cubic feet of air, contains 63 miles of thread and boats a waistband of 2,260 inches.
A spokesman said: "Standing 63 ft high and 60 ft wide, it is the biggest (and first) pair of giant flying Y-fronts the world has ever seen.
"The craft was finessed via a series of secret test flights in the English countryside prior to the inaugural public flight at Cheltenham today."
Sir Alex Ferguson has been sighted at the racecourse.
His runner, I'm Fraam Govan, will be looking to win today's Weatherbys Champion Bumper.
Zara Phillips and Princess Anne have also joined in the festivities on Ladies Day.
Paddy Power has set up a stand giving out free horse burgers.
New Barn Lane was left closed for about five minutes after a coach had broken down.
Police has since moved the coach and drivers are warned about the small back log in traffic.
Roads leading up to the racecourse are getting busy, as punters flood in before the start of the first race.
Traffic is now queuing on New Barn Lane, and police are reporting that Evesham Road is queued with traffic back to St Margaret's Road.
Princess Elizabeth Way is described as busy but moving.
Drivers are warned that The Member's south car park is full, and they will be diverted to an alternative car park.
Drivers parking their cars between no waiting cones risk having their cars towed, police are warning.
A spokesman for Gloucestershire Constabulary said: "Traffic is busy but moving. No specific problems to report at this time.
"Across the town some drivers are parking in between no waiting cones.
"Drivers parking in this way risk their car being towed."
Police are warning that cars parked at Albemarle Gate will be towed if they are causing an obstruction.
A spokesman for the police said traffic is busy, but flowing, and there were no specific problems.
She said: "Please ensure you park responsibly and safely, not only for yourself but also for other road users and local residents."
Echo reporter Michael Purton is reporting from the racecourse today.
After 40 years as a bookie, this year’s Cheltenham Festival will be Colin Webster’s last.
The 83-year-old has decided to call time on his 63 year career as a bookmaker.
Mr Webster, who lives in Ascot says he will miss the buzz of race week at Prestbury Park.
“I will miss the excitement and the gamble,” he said.
“A bookmaker is the opposite to the backer. You have liabilities like the backer. The backer wants the horse to win and the bookmaker wants them to lose so it’s just as exciting for us.”
Mr Webster’s retirement will see the end of his business Colin Webster and Sons Limited.
“I’m sad to go because I have met so many genuine people over the years.”
Mr Webster said he had countless fond memories of his four decades at the Festival.
“In the old days there was far more business and atmosphere,” he said.
“It was pre-Internet days when people came racing and had bigger bets at the course rather than online.”
Police is reporting that traffic is busy in Cheltenham but flowing smoothly on the second day of the Festival.
Going is being reported as good to soft, and soft in places, as groundsmen has been working to lift the covers before the first race today.
There was no need for a precautionary inspection as Simon Claisse, head of racing, South West region, and clerk of the course, found the Old Course in "excellent shape" around 5.30am today.
Shirley Overbury spent £2,400 mink fur coat yesterday as temperatures fell to around -1C (30.2F) on the first day, it was reported in the Daily Mail today.
The property developer was sporting the fur coat during the freezing weather.
Racing pundit John McCririck will be hoping for a quick return to the Festival today after being detained in Cheltenham General Hospital overnight.
The 72-year-old had complained of feeling unwell during the first day of the Cheltenham Festival and was taken to hospital by ambulance.
It was reported in the Mirror that his wife, Jenny, said it was stress from
Track declared safe to race.
Simon Claisse, clerk of the course, said there was no sign of frost and that the going was good to soft.
According to him, the ground had dried out over the last 24 hours.
Racing is set to go ahead on Ladies Day of Cheltenham Festival.
Covers were laid following the last race yesterday, with temperatures plummeting below freezing.
Sunny spells has been forecast by the Met Office today, with the mercury rising to about 5C (39.2F) by noon today before the first race today.
A precautionary inspection is due at 8am.
Tuesday's opening day card went ahead 35 minutes late after a mid-morning inspection and the loss of the cross-country race.
The first day drew a record crowd since the festival went to four days.
Yesterday's crowd of 56,284 was a new record for the first day since The Festival went to four days in 2005.
Ian Renton, regional director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said: "To get in excess of 56,000 people and be almost 2,000 up is a tremendous testament to the appeal of The Festival and the hard work of all the team here in making today happen."
Last year's attendance came to 54,471, while 53,318 attended in 2011.
Friday, Gold Cup Day, is a sell-out in all enclosures but tickets and badges can be bought at the gates today and Thursday, St Patrick's Thursday.