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Irish winners on and off the track on Ladies Day

A "Hail Mary horse" helped Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary graduate from the "losers enclosure" to "Willie Mullins land" on the second day of the Cheltenham Racing Festival.

A 16/1 shot, Rivage D'Or tore to victory in the Glenfarclas Handicap Chase after Toutancarmont and Quantitativeeasing crashed through the running rail into Irish photographer Patrick McCann leaving him with a broken leg.

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Leinster rugby players, from left, John Cooney, Darragh Fanning and Gloucester Rugby's Brendan Macken. Photo: Matt Browne

Leinster rugby players, from left, John Cooney, Darragh Fanning and Gloucester Rugby's Brendan Macken. Photo: Matt Browne

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Cassie Fleming, left, and Andrea Emerson, from Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, at the day's racing. Photo: Matt Browne

Cassie Fleming, left, and Andrea Emerson, from Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, at the day's racing. Photo: Matt Browne

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Enjoying the racing at Cheltenham was Louise Allen from Slane. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Enjoying the racing at Cheltenham was Louise Allen from Slane. Photo: Steve Humphreys

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Leinster rugby players, from left, John Cooney, Darragh Fanning and Gloucester Rugby's Brendan Macken. Photo: Matt Browne

"He's a Hail Mary horse that's for sure," O'Leary told the Irish Independent afterwards. "I spend most of Tuesday down in the losers enclosure so it's great to be in Willie Mullins land today."

"Willie, Rich Ricci and JP McManus get their winners on the first day," O'Leary said. "I know my position and had to wait my turn. That's the pecking order."

Jockey Davy Russell was happy to have missed out on the "hustle and bustle" of the course.

"It was like he was on springs," Russell said. "It's a career best for him. He jumped great and we avoided all the hustle and bustle."

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Jennifer Wrynne from Mohill, Co Leitrim, at Cheltenham yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Jennifer Wrynne from Mohill, Co Leitrim, at Cheltenham yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Emma Comiskey, from Lucan, Co. Dublin. Photo: Matt Browne

Emma Comiskey, from Lucan, Co. Dublin. Photo: Matt Browne

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Nadia Forde at Cheltenham yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Nadia Forde at Cheltenham yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Enjoying the racing at Cheltenham were Don Poli owner Michael O'Leary, his wife Anita and Michael's brother Eddie O'Leary. Photo: Photo: Steve Humphreys

Enjoying the racing at Cheltenham were Don Poli owner Michael O'Leary, his wife Anita and Michael's brother Eddie O'Leary. Photo: Photo: Steve Humphreys

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Jennifer Wrynne from Mohill, Co Leitrim, at Cheltenham yesterday. Photo: Steve Humphreys

It was another good day for Willie Mullins who picked up his fifth win with Gigginstown stud's Don Poli in the RSA Chase.

Moving away from fences and hurdles and towards hats and girdles - there was another Irish victory as Leitrim-based milliner Jennifer Wrynne was named Cheltenham's Best Dressed Lady.

Taffeta dresses and spiralling sky-high hats broke up the sea of tweed jackets as gaggles of ladies waltzed around Prestbury Park.

But the accolade went to Wrynne (25) who caught race goers' attention in an emerald green dress from Covet Boutique in the Powerscourt Town Centre and a raspberry silk hat -which she made herself.

"The silk is from Thailand," she cooed stroking the brim. "I don't know why they chose me - perhaps it was because of the colour of my dress. But it was probably luck more than anything."

Wrynne completed her outfit off with Jimmy Choo silver court shoes, a fur shrug from a Parisian boutique and a Louis Vuitton clutch.

There was a scream of delight from her mother Mary as Jennifer was handed a bouquet of roses and a magnum of Moet Champagne.

"I can't believe I won," she said. "I'll celebrate by drinking this entire bottle of champagne. It means so much to me - hopefully it will encourage some of the Cheltenham crowd to buy my hats."

Wrynne was awarded with £2,100 worth of Boodles Jewellery, £1,700 of Moloh Clothing and a year's supply of E.L.F Cosmetics.

Other Irish ladies bringing a solid splash of style included Andrea Emerson from Enniskillen and Maria Stack from Cork. Louise Allen from Slane opted for a pink Malene Birger coat. "It's nice to inject some colour into the day," she said.

Bookmakers dodged a bullet when Sire De Grugy and Sprinter Sacre were pipped to the post by Dodging Bullets in the Queen Mother Champion Chase but they still haven't recovered from day one of the festival.

"We needed to hit back hard after the opening day meltdown," David Williams of Ladbrokes said. "But it hasn't quite gone according to plan. We've reached half-time still facing an uphill struggle."

Duchess of Cornwell, Camilla Parker Bowles, ventured into the parade ring where she bumped into glamour model and business woman Katie Price.

The two posed for several pictures before making their way back to their respective boxes.

Rugby coach Warren Gatland arrived with several members of the Welsh squad - none of whom will be taking part in their Six Nations game against Ireland on Saturday.

Reality TV star Nadia Forde was enjoying a day off from recording her new TV show 'Chasing the Dream' to attend Ladies Day. "Racing is a world I know very little about but I still backed a winner," she said.

Irish Independent