The bubbly was flowing for the second day of the popular Northumberland Plate Festival yesterday.
A sea of bright dresses and smart shirts could be seen at Newcastle’s Gosforth Park Racecourse as the jockeys battled it out on some of the country’s best racehorses.
And the Gosforth Park Cup day finished last night in style when Camden ska outfit Madness entertained revellers with well-known hits like One Step Beyond, House of Fun and Baggy Trousers.
Sheena Hay, a 45-year-old medical receptionist from Tynemouth, in North Tyneside, enjoyed the atmosphere at her first Plate Day with a crowd of friends.
She said: “We came to see Madness and it is our first time here.
“We have got a picnic and it has been a really nice day so far. I even won ï¿½35 on a race – that isn’t a lot but it helps.”
Wendy Dawson a 31-year-old customer service assistant, from Durham City, said she enjoys a flutter at the event. “The atmosphere is great – really friendly and relaxed -– and it hasn’t been overly crowded,” she said.
“I have put a few bets on, I haven’t managed to win anything yet but I live in hope. Mostly it is a social event and it gives you the chance to get your good frock out of the wardrobe and let your hair down for a few hours.”
Craig Rowell, a 25-year-old recruitment consultant from Cramlington in Northumberland was at the event with a group of friends.
He said: “We have had a lot of laughs today and I thankfully haven’t lost a lot of money.
“I took the day off work to come to the racecourse today and we will probably go into Newcastle for a few drinks once all of the races are over.
“I’ve won ï¿½15 so far but the night is young. I try and catch either Plate Day or Ladies Day every year.
“They are probably the only days of the year I drink champagne as well. We’re sticking around for Madness, it isn’t often you get to see a band as big as that in a place this small.”
The festival continues today with the John Smith’s Northumberland Plate Day. For more information go to http://www.newcastle-racecourse.co.uk/plate/