July Festival: She’s Got Style

By Alice Ryan

Want to win a podium place in this summer’s Style Awards? Last year’s Best Dressed Lady, Anna Campbell - who flew in from New Zealand for Newmarket’s July Festival - shares her secrets with Alice Ryan

12/12/2018 Ladies Day The Moët & Chandon July Festival 2018. Picture: David Johnson Photographic (9947474)
12/12/2018 Ladies Day The Moët & Chandon July Festival 2018. Picture: David Johnson Photographic (9947474)

You were our Best Dressed Lady at 2018's July Festival! Casting your mind back, how did you feel to win?

To be honest, my aim was just to make it to the final 10, so to actually win I was amazed - and very happy of course.

Obviously you'd come a long way to Newmarket. How did you come to be at the races that day?

I’d always planned to go to Newmarket Ladies’ Day on our trip from New Zealand to the UK and our tickets were booked for the Moët & Chandon enclosure well before. My partner and I attended Royal Ascot the year before for my big birthday, so wanted to come back and experience another well-known UK race day.

Remind us about your outfit...

The outfit I chose was lightweight for travelling, with a sheer patterned material and a tassel arm and hem feature. I bought the dress online but my mother altered it to make it more racewear appropriate. The hat - from my local NZ milliner, Monika Neuhauser Millinery - was not huge, which helped for cabin luggage, but the ombré feathers sprayed to match the dress added height and impact. I think the royal blue and white colours of the outfit helped it to stand out.

The prizes were amazing, weren't they? Is it right you won tickets to the Dubai World Cup, among other things?

The prizes were incredible. The Dubai World Cup has been on my bucket list for years and, thanks to Newmarket, I have now attended this incredible race day/night. The icing on the cake was taking my 23-year-old daughter to Dubai with me, then her winning the Style Stakes Best Dressed Lady! This was just recently and we are still in shock. I made the top 10 in both the Best Dressed Lady and the Best Hat classes, too, so I was very happy with that - especially with the calibre of competition.

I also got a very cute Fairfax & Favor mini bag and The Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel were also very generous, with a huge picnic basket of spa goodies and a night’s stay with dinner and a spa appointment which we are using on our return trip to the UK in July. Luckily my birthday is in July, in your summer and our winter, so it’s much better to head over to you!

Can we expect to see you back at Newmarket, then?

I would definitely like to do a return trip to Newmarket: it’s such a pretty course and our Moët & Chandon enclosure was an amazing experience. The ladies in the fashion final were also lovely and great fun.

12/12/2018 Ladies Day The Moët & Chandon July Festival 2018. Picture: David Johnson Photographic (9947479)
12/12/2018 Ladies Day The Moët & Chandon July Festival 2018. Picture: David Johnson Photographic (9947479)

Having followed you on Instagram for the last year, we know you're no stranger to race-day dressing. What have been the highlights of your racing year, since Newmarket? Any more Best Dressed awards?

I have had a very lucky race season, with a win in NZ for Classic Lady in Wellington on Cup Day and also in Australia at the Werribee Cup. In New Zealand and Australia some of the race meetings have different categories for their racing fashion competitions, with Classic and Contemporary classes and sometimes age groups, too, which I like as it splits the fillies away from us broodmares!

Tell us a bit about yourself. What do you do when you're not racing?

I own and manage a dog boarding kennel called Petite Paws. My daughter helps run things as well, so 75 per cent of the time we are in ‘dog clothes’: jeans, puffas and sloggers, which are rubber clogs! But we love fashion as well, so love to have our fashion fixes at the race meetings. We get to go from gumboots to glamour quite a lot.

If our readers are starting to think about their July Festival looks for this year, do you have any hot tips for pulling together a winning outfit?

My advice for a good racing fashion outfit is to firstly wear something that suits you and fits you, so you feel great and confident.

I’m a fanatic about matching colours and don’t usually have more than three colours in a complete outfit. If your outfit material is busy, then the hat and accessories should be more subtle; if your hat is doing the talking, then the dress or pantsuit and accessories can be more simple but stylish.

Accessories like a matching clutch or mini bag are a necessity - and don’t forget some statement earrings to tie in the colours, as well as great heels that are clean and tidy and definitely without a price tag still stuck on underneath!

Most importantly: have fun and enjoy the day.

Newmarket Ladies’ Day takes place on July 11, day one of the three-day July Festival. To find out more about The Style Awards and to book tickets - on sale now, priced from just £16 - visit thejockeyclub.co.uk/newmarket

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