The Grand Parade Cape Guineas meeting, to be run at Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday, December 19, has become known not only as the first and arguably most prestigious Gr 1 classic test for colts and geldings of the South African racing season (this year’s line-up includes the World Sports Betting’s Fillies Guineas winner, Silver Mountain), but also for its family fun day atmosphere and its spirit of giving.
This year the theme will be “Grand Paradiso”, which lends itself to mystery, magic and surprise acts. As usual there will be entertainment aplenty for all ranges of ages and tastes. For those wishing to relax within an elegant setting, the Grand West Paradiso Lounge boasts “mystical” décor, live entertainment and a comfortable lounge area with a front row view of the races at R50 per person.
The Burger King outlet should be a hit with the kiddies. They will be able to navigate to their heart’s content around the jumps and slides in the “Play Kingdom”. They will also be able to have their photograph taken with Santa and have their faces painted, and their balloons shaped by experts in the field. If that is not enough, the magicians will have them enchanted and there will also be regular puppet shows throughout the day. All this for R20 a head.
The Cape Guineas meeting provides giving opportunities with a difference because patrons can volunteer to pack meals for hungry children at the Stop Hunger Now tent. The target is to pack 25920 meals.
Hospitality on the racecourse includes a buffet lunch in the Somerset room at R250 per person and of course this venue provides unbeatable views of the racing. (For bookings call 021 797 6037.)
The Cape Guineas happens at the height of the world class Cape Summer Of Champions Season and is regarded as the most prestigious classic race in the country.
The winners’ list reads like a “who’s who” of the equine greats of the South African turf and it also has a reputation as a sire-producing race.
The horse who is popularly regarded as the country’s greatest ever, Horse Chestnut, won it in 1999 and the season before that it was won by Jet Master, who went on to become the country’s most successful ever sire. Two immortals, In Full Flight and Sentinel, dead-heated for first in 1972 and other famous names which echo through the portals of Cape Guineas history are Colorado King (1963), the filly Renounce (1965), Hawaii (1968), Jamaican Music (1974), Gatecrasher (1975), Politician (1977), Bold Tropic (1979), the fillies Star Effort and Empress Club (1991 and 1992 respectively), the current National Champion Sire Captain Al (2000), Rabiya (2005), the country’s highest ever stakes earner, Jay Peg (2007) and Variety Club (2011).
This season’s race promises to be a humdinger and at the head of the list will be the like of the Selangor Cup winner Hard Day’s Night and the R2.5million Lanzerac Ready To Run Stakes rags-to-riches winner Budapest.
* Kenilworth Racecourse is located on Rosmead Avenue, Kenilworth.
Public Parking will be available at the Wetton Road entrance.
Racing will commence at 12pm and entry is free.