It's a class act for teacher Ann-Marie Phelan as she's crowned Overall Best Dressed Lady at Punchestown
When all the judges want your dress, you know you’ve got it right on Ladies’ Day.
Teacher Ann-Marie Phelan (31) was toasting with a glass of bubbly today after scooping the Bollinger Best Dressed Lady event at Punchestown Festival.
And she was on something of a roll – having also won the best dressed yesterday too, with a black and white jumpsuit.
Today, she was wearing a pleated oriental-inspired red patterned dress from Solace London, her hat was made to match by Michelle Kearns, hired from Hats Amore, her bag came from budget-friendly Parfois and, equally, her shoes from Penneys.
Her prize is a chic VIP trip for two to the Champagne region in France, with their own chauffeur and dinner at a Michelin-star restaurant, as well as a year’s supply of Bollinger champagne.
The Kilkenny woman is a regular at the Kildare race track and won Best Dressed at the Curragh last year – and has only recently returned from her prize trip to Las Vegas.
She was delighted with her big win today and was celebrating with her fiancé Paul Dunning. The couple teach together at Scoil Mhuire Senior School in Newbridge and Paul hot-footed it over to the race course after school, arriving just in time for the judging.
"He said there was so much excitement because my picture was in the paper," said Ann-Marie.
"I can’t wait to go back to school on Monday now to tell them all about it."
The judges were Vogue Williams, Bairbre Power of the Irish Independent, Heather de Bromhead and Bastien Mariani.
Bairbre said they had chosen Ann-Marie as their winner because her dress was so architectural and really stood out.
"All three of the women judges said we all wanted her dress," she explained.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny was at Punchestown, as a stopover before his trip to Brussels later this evening.
"We’ve prepared for this very well and the principals are very well enshrined," he said of the Brexit discussions on the table.
He also pointed to the implications for the thoroughbred industry in Ireland, saying Brexit would have a “big bearing,” but that it depends on how the negotiations will go in the next couple of years.
Excitement is building at Punchestown ahead of the big race, the BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle, at 5.30, with the continuing showdown between trainers Gordon Elliot and Willie Mullins.
Another big win for Gordon Elliott in Race Three, with Definite Ruby contributing €45,000 to the pot – meaning he is now €171,830 ahead of Willie Mullins.