At Ladies Night last year were, from left, Vicki Sloan, Rachel Anderson, Sarah Dalgliesh, Chelsea Barnes and Ellie Glendinning (Photo:2017 prom dresses)

Usually, the people who grumble most about being invited to a fancy dress party are the ones who make the most effort with their outfit and make-up.

Usually that is just the blokes.

But ladies like to dress up and show off just as much.

The popularity of Ladies Day at Carlisle racecourse bears testament to that.

Since it first started seven years ago, it has steadily grown in popularity and reputation for a fun afternoon and evening.

The clop of the horses is matched by the clip of thousands of stilettos.

Even though it is held in August, the weather can’t be guaranteed but the fun and fizzing atmosphere more than makes up for that.

The most famous version of the event is held at Ascot every summer.

There is a slightly more rowdy event at Aintree but many courses now stage a Ladies Day.

The one at the Blackwell course goes from strength to strength and now attracts thousands of ladies to the course – many who don’t know one end of a tic-tac sign from a strained fetlock.

It adds a splash of colour, fun and glamour to a course more used to brown tweeds and flat caps of trainers and farmers where the only colour is provided by ruddy cheeks and red noses.

Ladies Day – which has now been dubbed #AmazingMonday – has become one of the highlights of Carlisle’s social calendar.

It has become so well known that minibuses of fashion fillies travel from across the region for the day.

And, of course, because the ladies make such an effort, us blokes feel duty-bound to get suited and booted and show ourselves in the best possible light.

This year, there will be added sparkle provided by Radio 2 broadcaster Jo Whiley who will be performing a DJ set in the evening.

In past years, bands have played at the post-race party, but Jo is particularly suited to the event.

Away from the fashion and fun, there is a more serious side to the whole shebang, one for which the course and the Jockey Club deserve full praise.

It is the only raceday in the world that has all-female racecards.

That really is something to cheer about.

Racing, is a tough sport and has been dominated by men for centuries. Women have been steadily making their mark as equals on and off the track, more recently as jockeys.

All-female racecards offer more women more chance to show their skills and helps break down any remaining scepticism.

Without them, the sport would be all the poorer.

Racecourse general manager Geraldine McKay said: “Given the ethos of #AmazingMonday, which is to celebrate, empower and promote women in racing, Jo is the perfect choice to lead our post-race Party In The Paddock.”Read more at:mermaid prom dresses uk