In Brief

Topless punch-up overshadows Ladies Day at Royal Ascot

Video of an angry man having a fight creates almost as much interest as Big Orange's Gold Cup victory

Thursday was Ladies Day at Royal Ascot, but on an afternoon of elegance and glamour, it was a topless man having a fight who grabbed the limelight.

In fact, events once the racing had finished almost overshadowed the drama of Big Orange beating favourite Order of St George by a nose in the biggest race of the week, the Gold Cup.

The London Evening Standard calls it "shocking video footage" of a "drunken brawl" emerged.

The clip, which quickly went viral, begins with a scuffle near a flattened fence, before a bare-chested man rampages through the crowd swinging his fists and challenging another man to "finish it off".

Later, two women are seen attacking each other and at least one racegoer is knocked to the floor - with others rush to protect their drinks.

"For centuries it's been regarded as the highlight of the summer calendar for the well-off and well-connected," sniffs the Daily Mail. "But the atmosphere turned sour at Ascot yesterday as shocking brawls and catfights broke out, with the usually glamorous Ladies Day descending into chaos."

A spokesman for the racecourse, which has been forced to impose a dress code on racegoers in recent years, said: “It is disappointing when an anti-social small minority behave inappropriately.

“In a crowd of 70,000, sadly such incidences are hard to entirely eradicate, but our staff and the police act on information as soon as they can.”

Ascot is not alone in its struggle. Other big racing events have attracted the wrong kind of headlines in recent years. Both the Grand National and the Cheltenham Festival have generated negative coverage thanks to the behaviour of some punters,  with the spread of social media blamed for highlighting episodes of drunkenness.

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