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Under starter's orders - students go behind the scenes at Brighton Racecourse

Brighton Racecourse has had a colourful history. Once frequented by King George IV and his aristocratic pals, it was later portrayed as the haunt of gangsters and racketeers in Graham Greene's book "Brighton Rock".

Now, a group of students have been behind the scenes to find out what it's really like today.

Malcolm Shaw joined the boys for a day at the races, and interviewed Wayne Hardie of the British Horseracing Authority, Colin Brown, tipster and former jockey, and race commentator Richard Hoiles.

Ladies' Day at Ascot today

It's Ladies' Day at Ascot today Credit: teve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

It's the annual Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot today. Women from across the region and beyond are attending the horse racing event wearing their most fashionable outfits for the Gold Cup. Dress code assistants are on hand to ensure racegoers don't flout the rules.

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Christmas is the busiest time of the year for horse racing

While many of us will be enjoying the excesses of the festive season - and then sleeping them off - there'll be plenty of sportsmen and women who'll be working through Christmas. Footballers have matches to prepare for on Boxing Day.

And in racing it's one of the busiest times of the year. Stable staff across the country will be setting their alarms early on

On Christmas Day the horses still have to fed and exercised. And there are nine meetings across the country on Boxing Day.

Chris Maughan has been to one yard where they're hoping a big race favourite will deliver a festive winner.

Tributes paid to Hampshire horse trainer Toby Balding

Balding was awarded an OBE in 2012 Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Archive

The racing world is in mourning for Toby Balding, the racehourse trainer from Hampshire who has died aged 78. He was one of the few in the profession to have won the Grand National, Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Champion Hurdle. He was based at Fitfield near Andover.

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Lambourn Valley stables open their doors to the public

Thousands are expected at stables across Berkshire to meet race horses and their trainers Credit: ITV Meridian

Over 10,000 people are expected to meet race horses and trainers in Berkshire today.

Stables throughout the Lambourn Valley have opened their doors to the public so they can get an unique insight into how the racing industry really works.

Many of the stables have special exhibits and some demonstrations, including horses using hydrotherapy pools.

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