BRIGHTON Racecourse was a sea of eye-catching hats and beautiful dresses on the annual Ladies Day.

Thousands of people packed into the grounds for the glittering and glamorous event, which is arguably the course’s most popular day of the year.

Many women were decked out in their finest in a bid to win the event’s best dressed lady competition.

The wide variety of dining options available were also extremely popular as people enjoyed the refreshments between the races.

Many racegoers decided to head for the Pince Regent Suite, which was offering three course dining, a premier ticket, racecards and a private bar with access to the exclusive terrace section.

Others treated themselves by booking a table in the luxury marquee, which included champagne on arrival .

Among those enjoying the day yesterday was Emily Mitchell, 32, from Brighton, who has been coming to the event for the last four years.

She said: “It has been a wonderful day. I’ve come here with my friend Maria Cheslin and we have had a great time.

“I like coming here because it’s local and easy to get to and always good fun.

“I’m a little bit disappointed not to have been picked for the final of the best dressed lady competition but there’s always another year.”

Mrs Mitchell picked out her dress last week and had her hat specially made for the day.

She also wore the jewellery she had worn to her wedding.

Although she lost out in the competition, Mrs Mitchell did a little better when it came to the horse racing itself.

She said: “We’ve picked a couple of winners today so that was good. It’s really packed here and the atmosphere has been great.

“Although the weather was dry, it has been pretty windy so we had to hold on tightly to our hats.

Mine did actually blow away but someone managed to run and catch it for me.”

Event organisers said they expected the 2016 Ladies Day to be a record-breaking year for visitor numbers.