Cheltenham Festival Gold Cup Day: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived at a rainy Cheltenham Racecourse today to enjoy some Gold Cup action at jump racing's biggest event of the year.
Kate wore a dusky pink wool coat by Joseph with a felt hat by Lock & Co.
William - who was clearly getting into the racing action - wore a smart blue suit.
The couple looked happy as they watched the action unfold at the world famous Prestbury Park racecourse today.
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Favourite Bob's Worth romped home to take the top prize winning the Betfred Gold Cup in a thrilling race.
Trained by Nicky Henderson Bob's Worth was ridden by Barry Geraghty.
Yesterday all eyes were on Kate's sister - Pippa Middleton - as she wowed the crowds in a stunning mustard military style coat and fur hat.
Today Kate teamed her pink coat with brown accessories including a Betty Boop hat from Lock & Co, Rumba boots from Aquatalia by Marvin K and a brown clutch bag.
At the end of the day, the racecourse celebrated record numbers.
Spokesman Andy Clifton said: "It’s been a cracking week and one of our best ever festivals. We had a wonderful Gold Cup winner in Bobs Worth who is unbeaten at Cheltenham and has now won in three successive festivals which is quite something. It was great to have the royals here. They are big supporters of Cheltenham.”
Police also reported a peaceful event.
Festival Superintendent Neil Mantle said: “Hundreds of thousands of people have come into the town to enjoy the festivities this year, albeit with some challenging weather.
“The Cheltenham Festival has always been a proportionately peaceful event and this year, even with record numbers of people at the course, was no exception.”
“We have had to respond to a number of incidents where people were causing trouble as a result of overindulging in celebratory drinks but, as a whole, reports of crime on the site were once again low.
Two men have been detained at the Racecourse today, the final and most popular day of the Cheltenham Festival, bringing the total number of arrests on the Racecourse for the week to 15.
Earlier comedian Alan Carr was spotted near the winners enclosure sporting a dapper grey suit and a top hat.
He told the Echo: “I’ve got some money riding on Africa Gold although I can’t remember which race it’s running in.
"I love coming to Cheltenham as I’ve got friends here and I’ve always loved racing.
"I used to skip school to go to the races which is maybe why I’m so stupid.”
Meanwhile veteran racing pundit John McCririck was due to watch today's Gold Cup race on television after being released from hospital.
McCririck, 72, is recovering at home after being detained in Cheltenham General Hospital.
He complained of feeling unwell during the first day of the festival on Tuesday and was taken to hospital by ambulance.
Nikki Neddie, a vet from Cheshire, came to the races wearing a horse mask.
The 31-year-old said: “If I don’t make any money on the races I may have to sell parts of myself in the burger vans. I’ve heard it’s quite popular.”
The rate of consumption of the black stuff was increasing by the minute in the Guinness tent where an Irish band has struck up a jig.
Among the punters was David Jarvis, 26, from Leicester who had been forced to dress as Snow White by pals because it was his stag do.
He said: “I’ve had lots of comments about my outfit and I stick out like a sore thumb today because everyone else is dressed so smart.
"I’ve had a couple of offers and I might take them up later on, we’ll have to see.”
Steve Gerrelli came with four pals from Watford all dressed in the red and blue scarves of Bobs’ Worth, the bookies favourite.
“We’ve been following Bob’s Worth all year and we are certain he’s going to win," he said.
Legendary racehorse Kauto Star was due to lead the contenders out to the course before the Gold Cup.
This morning in Cheltenham all the talk was about the fate of the Gold Bup – the blue ribbon event of the week.
Bookies favourite Bobs Worth, former champion Long Run and Sir Des Champs are among the top contenders for the showpiece event.
Kate McKenna, 31, a PR consultant from south Wales, said: “I’m £30 down for the week overall but I’m hoping to make it up today.
“There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere at Cheltenham and we will have a great time whatever the outcome, but it would be nice to win some money.”
Keith Bick, 52, a factory worker from Birmingham, said: “I’m putting my money on Bobs Worth for the Gold Cup. Any horse ridden by Barry Geraghty has got to be a good shout.
“I just had a cooked breakfast, full English, and washed it down with two pints of lager so I’m ready for the day.”
The bookies said it would be one of the most open Gold Cup races in years.
A spokesman for Ladbrokes said: “We have had a lot of late bets for Wayward Prince but, apart from that, it has been hard to pick a clear favourite as to who people are going for.
“It’s one of the most open Gold Cups I can remember.”
It comes as figures showed yesterday was another record day for crowds.
The attendance of 57,976 on St Patrick’s Day was the highest for the third day of the meeting since it was extended to four days in 2005.
It followed best-ever crowds on Champion Hurdle day on Tuesday and Queen Mother Champion Chase day on Wednesday.