Wrap up in racing style!  The dark nights may be drawing in fast, but there’s no need to get a dose of those winter blues just yet because the always stylish Northern Ireland Festival of Racing at Down Royal is here again to help you put some panache back in your wardrobe.

The festival, which takes place on 31st October and 1st November, is Northern Ireland’s most prestigious sporting and social event. Combining premier racing, glamour and extraordinary entertainment, it is a sporting occasion with something for everyone.

This year, the first 200 ladies through the turnstiles will receive a Molton Brown Gift Bag and could also be in with the chance to win one of 20 bottles of Champagne Billecart Salmon Brut Reserve N.V. from JNwine.com.

Taking a fresh approach to the fashion of the races, this year all race goers stand a chance of winning a £1,000 voucher for the Elliott Designer Store in Hillsborough and a £1,000 voucher from expert tailors Hugo Thomas in Belfast.

The highly acclaimed festival features Down Royal’s renowned Champion Chase sponsored by James Nicholson Wine Merchant and sees Northern Ireland’s most stylish men and women dressed to impress.

As a vast array of stunning new trends and styles descend on the racecourse, Down Royal asked fashion expert Julie Elliott from the chic Elliott Designer Store to give ladies an insight into the season’s finest fashions:

This season the number one fashion accessory at the racecourse will have to be the perfect coat. My top tip is to wrap up so you can take advantage of the excellent racing, whether rain or shine. For effortless elegance wear coats at longer lengths with a belt. This season the emphasis is very much on the waist!

Wool is, of course, a winter staple and can be seen in ever-present fashion trends hitting the shops; an easy option to stay warm in style. Layer lighter materials or wool mixes to achieve the desired look.

To ensure a flawless look, we would encourage pleats, overstitches and definitely go for ruffled effects. Dresses this winter are elegant and edgier. It’s all about glamorous sophistication. The fitted shift dress will definitely be making a huge comeback.

Mike Todd, Manager of Down Royal Racecourse said:
The Northern Ireland Festival of Racing, now in its tenth year, continues to go from strength to strength. This year, with help from JNwine.com, Julie Elliott and Hugo Thomas, we can a guarantee a great day out for everyone. Synonymous with quality, style and unparalleled racing, Down Royal Racecourse guarantees a great day out this winter.

If you’re a racing fanatic, a follower of fashion, a first-time race goer or are looking for the perfect corporate hospitality package, the festival has something for everyone and we can’t wait to see you there:

The prestige of the festival programme ensures that corporate hospitality continues to be a growing business for the racecourse.

Large numbers of businesses are recognising the opportunity for great networking or taking advantage of the range of corporate hospitality packages to entertain important clients and business partners. We want Down Royal to have the wow-factor and to guarantee that visitors to our racecourse will have one of the most memorable days of their lives” adds Mike Todd.