Odds are the Met will shine
The theme for the 157th race is African Luxury: Precious Metals.
Sun International spokesperson Gareth Flusk said he expected racing enthusiasts and fashionistas to don their best gold, copper and platinum outfits.
“With two weeks to go people should definitely get their outfits finalised because it’s an event you want to be seen at because of the big celebrity presence that we have at the Met.”
Flusk was mum on what racegoers could expect and said there would be some surprises on the day but said he was most excited about the return of speedster Usain Bolt along with local personality Minnie Dlamini-Jones.
Bolt and Dlamini-Jones were appointed as chief entertainment officer and master of celebrations by sponsor GH Mumm ahead of last year’s race.
Designer Mzukisi Mbane, who owns the Imprint ZA label, said in designing his creations for the race he had looked past the initial theme.
“We didn’t start with the precious metal element, but rather started with the part that connects very strongly with our African aesthetic. We have infused print with all these precious metals in a rather out-of-the-box and futuristic way. So the materials include cotton, silk chiffons, and other unconventional material.”
Celebrities Mzukisi will dress for the race include Palesa Tembe from Afternoon Express, comedian Siv Ngesi and PR guru Lerato Sengadi.
Snaith Racing will have a number of horses competing for the R5 million purse, including early favourite Do It Again, ridden by jockey Richard Fourie, who recently won the L’Ormains Queen’s Plate race.
“We had a fantastic run at the Queen’s Plate with Do It Again and Oh Susanna. He (Do It Again) is the type of horse owners dream of having because he can change your life quite literally and he’s done that for us,” said Jonathan Snaith.
“It’ll be a very competitive field. You ignore Legal Eagle at your peril and all indications are Rainbow Bridge will have a better showing than at Queen’s Plate.”
Sean Tarry, who trains Legal Eagle, said the horse had been “not himself” on the day of Queen’s Plate, where he came in fourth place, and expected him to bounce back at the Met.
Phumelela Gaming spokesperson Danie Toerien said a day at the races should be fun and that was the most important factor, but said punters should look out for different signs when placing bets.
“If your horse is priced generously, for example 50:1 to win, he is not thought of as one that has a big chance of winning. Favourites only win 33.3% of the time. Just because a horse is the favourite doesn’t guarantee he or she will win,” Toerien said.
“Spend only what you can afford to lose.”
Janine Myburgh, president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the Sun Met alone does not bring money to the local economy, but combined with other attractions it made Cape Town an attractive destination.
“The Sun Met does attract celebrities and that adds to the excitement. Their presence here is an endorsement of the good value and the holiday experience the Cape offers.
“The focus is firmly on fashion and that is one of our great local industries. It provides first rate opportunities for local designers to show off their work in TV to the whole country. Shop windows don’t come any bigger than that,” said Myburgh.
The 2019 Sun Met is on January 26 at Kenilworth racecourse.