A DROGHEDA woman won the top prize at Friday's Bellewstown Races Best Dressed Lady award, winning a spectacular trip to Abu Dhabi.
Thousands flocked to the Co Meath venue in sweltering heat over the three-day July festival, where Rachel Barrett, originally from Drogheda but living in Swords, walked away with a trip for two to Abu Dhabi after winning the coveted Best Dressed Lady title.
Brian Purcell, PR Consultant and former advisor on TV3's The Apprentice was assisted by sponsors Sandra Finegan from Globe Travel, Karen Maloney from Ethiad Airways and Brian Dowd from Dowd's Menswear in judging the event.
'I was seriously impressed at the competitiveness and effort that went into the stunning style that was on show by all our Best Dressed contestants and I've never known pressure like it to whittle them down to the prize-winners,' said the Apprentice judge.
'I was also blown away by how beautiful a racecourse that Bellewstown is and their summer dates are now firmly inked into my calendar for the future.'
The winner of the Best Dressed Man competition went to Philip O'Donoghue from Drogheda who received a Kindle Fire HD from Briscoes Electric. Sean and Bernie Gilsenan, from Hayestown, Navan secured the Best Dressed Couple title which entitled them to a €500 voucher for Fuschia and a €300 voucher for Dowd's Menswear. Spot prizes from Scotch Hall in Drogheda were also presented to winners of the Miss Teen competition.
The soaring temperatures over the weekend led to record crowds at the Co. Meath venue on all three days, with both Bookmaker and Tote betting significantly up on last year.
'I have to admit the weather helped but it was great to see the crowds streaming through the gates over all three days,' said Kevin Coleman, Manager of Bellewstown Racecourse.
'The fashion stakes were extremely high on Friday night. We had our richest ever race with the €25,000 Fast Shipping Bellewstown Handicap Hurdle and then Paddy Cole and the All Stars kept everyone entertained in the marquee. 'We also had great racing and great fun on Saturday with the Q102 Raceday and then finished it all off with a fantastic family day on Sunday.' Racing will be back in Bellewstown for their August Festival on Wednesday and Thursday, August 21 and 22.