They may have come to Ascot, England, for the horse races Thursday, but it was the ladies that were truly hot to trot.

"Ladies Day" brought high society and high-steeped hats to the Royal Ascot horse races. The five-day racing event began Tuesday, offering British racegoers a chance to cheer on the horses, socialize, sip champagne and don fanciful hats in a nod to tradition.

Ivana Trump; Sophie, Countess of Wessex; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; and, of course, Queen Elizabeth II were among those who made appearances amid the crowd of other famous faces.

Click here to see the hats.

Although the ladies stole the show with their colorful headwear, Royal Ascot is Britain's most famous racing events, claiming to bring in more than 500,000 people to Berkshire each year.

Thousands of women dressed to impress on Ladies Day, but race fans came for the Gold Cup.

A 6-year-old horse named Yeats held off a late charge by competitor Geordieland and won the prized Gold Cup for the second year in a row.

Yeats took the lead with about 500 yards to go, then withstood Geordieland's bid in the final 60 yards to win by 1 1/2 lengths.

A year ago, Yeats cruised to a four-length win in the 2 1/2-mile Gold Cup, considered the showcase event at the Royal Ascot meeting.

Yeats, ridden by Mick Kinane, came into the race off two victories in Ireland in 1 3/4-mile races.

Geordieland, a 12-1 shot, was ridden by Jamie Spencer.

Yeats may try again in the two-mile Melbourne Cup in November, a year after he faded badly in last year's event. O'Brien said the race will be considered. A shot at next year's Gold Cup is possible, too.

"All those races are open to him, but it will be discussed with the owners," O'Brien said. "We would love to come back and win for a third time. Hopefully, we will be here."

Le Miracle, a 50-1 shot, finished third.

The Royal Ascot continues through Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.