LADIES Day at the races is a much anticipated event, a chance for women to get dressed up and enjoy the sunshine.

Brighton Racecourse hosted its annual Ladies Day yesterday, August 4, and the sunny warm weather was perfect for glamorous racegoers.

Brighton hosts the event on the first Thursday every year of its Festival of Racing and has said that an average of 1,500 bottles of Prosecco are consumed along with 1000 bowls of fresh strawberries .

The August festival is said to be “the perfect reason to get a group of your nearest and dearest and enjoy a day out”.

These pictures show that that is exactly what many women did, they can be seen laughing and enjoying the sunshine with big smiles on their faces.

While there is no formal dress code for the event, most attendees chose to wear floral dresses and heels accompanied by fascinators and hats.

The Argus: Caroline Murphy. Credit Simon Dack / Alamy Live News

One of the women soaking up the sun was Caroline Murphy from Epsom in Surrey, she was dressed in full 1940s style and wearing a dress she purchased from a museum near Birmingham accompanied by a parasol.

She said: "Oh it has been wonderful, the sun is shining it's lovely.

"A lot of people liked my outfit, the dress is probably 80 years old now and I had a lot of compliments.

"It's so busy here, it's lovely. I love Brighton Racecourse."

To encourage fancy fashion, the racecourse also held style awards for thousands of racegoers to put their best shoes forward to impress the judges.

Judges used photos taken from the flower wall and by the designated “spotter” in the crowd to decide who won the prize.

This year the finalists for Best Dressed Lady were Gill, Letitia and Maria.

The Argus: Gill, Letitia and Maria. Photo: Simon DackGill, Letitia and Maria. Photo: Simon Dack

Gill went on to win and took home the £500 grand prize.

Ladies Day has been around since the 1800s when women were given discounted prices for race tickets.

The term dates back to 1823, when an anonymous poet described Thursday at the Royal Ascot as "Ladies Day... when the women, like angels, look sweetly divine."

Across the UK many racecourses make Ladies Day synonymous with other fashion contests such as best dressed lady, best hat and the best dressed couple.