Style Awards: Newmarket Best Dressed goes virtual

Pop the Champagne: though racing is still taking place behind closed doors, Newmarket’s July Festival Style Awards are going ahead - in virtual form. Here’s what you need to know

Could you be Newmarket’s Best Dressed? Though the physical competition has been cancelled by Covid-19, we’re delighted to announce that the July Festival Style Awards are still going ahead - virtually. Instead of dressing up and having a great day out, we want you to dress up and have a great day in, as The Jockey Club’s Michelle Anderson explains.

“We want people to recreate the July Festival experience at home,” she says. “Make a picnic to have in the garden, meet up with friends via video call or socially distanced get-together, put the racing on the TV - and, of course, get dressed up for the occasion.”

“We know how much racegoers love taking part in the Style Awards: we see them pull out all the stops every year in their thousands,” adds Velvet editor Alice Ryan. “Though this year will be different, we’re hoping people will still get into the spirit and dress to impress at home. After three months of lockdown, I think we’re all ready to switch our jogging bottoms and trainers for a dress and heels! This is the perfect opportunity.”

Throughout the three days of the festival, July 9 to 11, judges will be looking for their Best Dressed virtual racegoer. With some brilliant prizes on offer - the overall winner will receive a beauty bundle worth £350, with two runner-up prizes worth £50 also up for grabs - instead of having the usual categories, for ladies, gentlemen and couples, there’s a single Best Dressed award this year, open to everyone.

Taking part is easy: simply take a picture of yourself in your race-day finery and share it on Instagram, using #StyleAwards and tagging both @velvetmag and @newmarket_racecourses. On the final day of the awards, the panel will compile a top 10 from across all three days before selecting the final top three and overall winner.

Milliner Rosie Rubin - whose Rosie Olivia hats are worn by both stars and Royals, including Zara Phillips and the Duchess of Cambridge - will be joining Michelle, The Jockey Club’s regional head of marketing, and Alice on the judging panel, along with influencer Laura Blair, famed for her London Fashion Girl blog and 180,000-following Instagram, @TheLauraBlair.

As ever, points will be awarded for a pulled-together look which both nods to the trends and expresses a personal style, but there are no hard-and-fast dressing rules. “The dress code is ‘up’,” adds Alice. “Just dress as you would for a real day at the races.”

You Beauty

The winner of this year’s Best Dressed title will receive a luxe beauty bundle, courtesy of Velvet magazine. Worth £400 it will showcase some of the team’s best-loved brands and contain a complete summer beauty kit, from make-up to hair and skincare. The two runners up will also win a prize: a beauty bundle worth £75. Want to be in with a chance? All you have to do is send us a shot of your race-day look via Instagram, see above.

Festival At Home

While the racing is taking place on Newmarket’s famous July Course behind closed doors - including the famed Darley July Cup - The Jockey Club will be running July Festival At Home, a virtual event for the television and online audience. You’ll be able to get a digital racecard and watch race replays online, enter competitions on social media and download exclusive interactive content, from recipes and children’s activities to Zoom backdrops and Apres Racing Spotify playlists. See for details.

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