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Saturday, 01 November 2014

Record crowd for Ladies' Night at Carlisle Racecourse

Alexandra Burke provided the finale to the ‘Ultimate Ladies’ Night’ at Carlisle Races last night.

The 2008 X Factor winner appeared on stage wearing figure-hugging shorts and a bodice for an energetic 45-minute performance.

The rain was pouring down but her soaked fans didn’t let the weather dampen their enthusiasm.

After belting out her hit Broken Heels, Alexandra told the crowd: “It’s raining but you guys are staying here, and Carlisle, that makes me love you even more.”

After hearing that the first race had raised about £25,000 for Breast Cancer Care and the Breast Cancer Campaign, she told the News & Star: “It's been fantastic to perform at a race meeting that's raised so much money for such a great cause. I've enjoyed my night at the races, too!”

The Edinburgh Woollen Mill-sponsored event was a world first because all the races were open only to female jockeys.

Among the top sportswomen taking part was Meregan Norwood, 65.

She finished the first race in third on Royal Blade – despite having two recent breast cancer operations.

With almost 10,000 visitors, it was a record attendance for a Carlisle ladies night fixture and the second highest attendance ever.

Although there were probably more umbrellas than hats, there was still more than a touch of glamour to the occasion.

The dresses were long, short and very short with styles ranging from the classic to the adventurous in a myriad of colours.

Winner of the best dressed woman competition was Laura Lynas, 26, of Carlisle. who was wearing a Karl Bowman ‘England’ dress.

Zoe Gadd of Carlisle took away the prize for the best hat.

But for most, the evening was more about fun than winning competitions or bets.

Francine Tyson, of Whitehaven, said: “You can get dressed up and recycle your wedding outfits, there’s not many places in Cumbria you can do that.”

Richard Clements, the racecourse's general manager, was pleased with the success of the night.

He said: “The combination of our ‘ladies first’ fixture, a terrific after-racing concert and the charity focus has proved hugely popular. With luck, we'll do it all again on the same evening next year.”

Have your say

Think people should spare a thought for the staff who had to work in the pouring rain without no shelter let along a coat!

Posted by Sarah on 5 August 2011 at 16:12

I lost a dear friend to cancer in april this year. He lived in middlesborough and would travel through to carlisle to come to the races with me. If mike had been with me on monday night he would have been complaining about sitting in the car park for 2 hours and about the overcrowding. The organisers should take all of these comments on board and try a bit harder next year.

Posted by stuart on 4 August 2011 at 21:10

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