Belles at the Ball

Ladies Day at the Betfred St Leger Festival saw Doncaster Rovers Belles attend as Guests of Honour

  • Ladies Day racegoers dazzled in stunning outfits showcasing the ‘Made in Doncaster’ style-theme at the opening day of the Betfred St Leger Festival.
  • Michelle Saunders from Rotherham won the £1,000 Style Awards wearing a bespoke outfit from Carol-Anne, an independent boutique in Wickersley. Doncaster Designer Estelle Pearce, and hat Milliner Clare Barker from ‘Love the Hattitude’ designed a one-off bespoke hat worn by Belles Captain Jessica Tugby-Andrew

Ladies Day is always the pinnacle of style at Doncaster Racecourse and this year was no different with Ladies Day opening the prestigious Betfred St Leger Festival for the first time, but, with a local twist.

Tying into the overarching theme of the event, ‘Made in Doncaster’, a renowned local designer, Estelle Pearce, created a style guide to ensure everyone was dressed to the nines!

For 2023, racegoers were encouraged to embrace the brand-new Style Guide, which outlined five top tips to create a stunning Ladies Day look with the hope of one lucky attendee standing out of the crowd to win the Style Awards, and the £1,000 cash prize!

  • Floral Fantasy
  • Dopamine Brights
  • Show us your stripes
  • Corset Dress
  • Oversized Bows


Showing their fashion prowess was Rotherham local, Michelle Saunders, was selected at the winner of the Style Awards, taking home a huge £1,000 cash prize!


The 2023 Style Awards winner, Michelle Saunders, said: “I can’t believe it; it’s such a shock. All my thanks to Carol Ann, who runs the boutique in Wickersley. I was a bit hesitant on the outfit as I thought I was too short for a jumpsuit but when I tried it on, it was so comfortable. I just wanted a bright, cheerful outfit for the day. I can’t believe I’ve won!

“I’m not sure what to spend the £1,000 cash prize on. I really didn’t expect to win but I’ll probably put it towards a really nice Christmas. I’m a regular at Ladies Day and have been coming every year for the past 13 years. We love it so much and this is the icing on what’s been a brilliant day!”

Not ones to be left on the bench, we saw the Doncaster Belles, who were the Guests of Honour at the event, arrive at Doncaster Racecourse to celebrate all things local! The team modelled a range of outfits plucked straight from the style guide including Fearne McCormack in Floral Fantasy, and Freya Rattenbury in Dopamine Brights.

Captain Jessica Tugby-Andrew wore the incredible one-of-a-kind hat creation commissioned by the racecourse and brought to life by designer Estelle Pearce and Doncaster-based hat Milliner Clare Barker from ‘Love the Hattitude’. Serving more than just style, this piece is being auctioned off after the Betfred St Leger Festival to help raise funds to support the Belles in their football season.

Jessica spoke about the partnership: “We’ve had the best time here for Ladies Day at Doncaster Racecourse for the Betfred St Leger Festival. It’s so nice to see them not only supporting but honouring women’s sport by inviting us and providing us the amazing hat to auction off. The team and I have had so much fun watching the races, enjoying some delicious food and even winning a bet or two, we’ll be back next year!


Rachel Harwood, Executive Director of Doncaster Racecourse, said: “I’m always blown away by the amazing outfits on show at Ladies Day, as I am across the whole of the Betfred St Leger Festival and this year’s no different. What a way to kick off the four-days. We’ve seen some fantastic action on the track and some incredible outfits with their own unique take on the style guide off the track. The atmosphere has been so enjoyable for everyone involved, and I can’t wait for the rest of the Betfred St Leger Festival to continue.”

Day two of the Betfred St Leger Festival is set to shine a spotlight on the heart of Doncaster with the aptly named Betfred Doncaster Cup Day, followed by the grand crescendo on Saturday – Betfred St Leger Stakes Day. This marquee day plays host to the world's oldest Classic race, the Betfred St Leger Stakes. Over the decades, this race has been graced by legendary horses and jockeys, including the likes of Frankie Dettori, who, just this summer, announced his retirement from racing effective the end of 2023. Wrapping up the festival is the St Leger Community Funday, a fitting tribute to the local community, which will host tons of fun activities for all the family.

To get your hands-on last-minute tickets to join in the action visit for more information or call the team on 01302 304200 to secure your place.