It was a day that had the trimmings you’d expect when a new sponsor, looking to make an immediate impact, comes on board and Cape Town came out in their numbers to see what The Sun Met celebrated with GH Mumm was about.
With the added incentive as the richest race in Africa with a stake of R5-million a quality field of 15 lined up for the 2000m contest. By the end of it, jockey Greg Cheyne had a reason to raise a glass as he guided Whisky Baron home in front of an appreciative crowd.
It was a wonderful moment for owners, brothers Craig and Ross Kieswetter enjoying their biggest moment to date during their time in horseracing.
Before the running of The Sun Met there were doubts with regards to the eventual winner being able to compete against the likes of Horse of the Year, Legal Eagle but he proved otherwise, putting a length and a half between himself and the runner-up.
“It’s a very different feeling. I was very lucky to play cricket internationally but this tops it all. To celebrate it with my family makes it an even prouder moment,” former England international Craig, said of his horse’s achievement.
“It’s a great feeling and great team effort, echoed Ross before adding plaudits for jockey Cheyne and trainer Brett Crawford.
“It was a great ride and Brett is a top trainer. It’s huge,” he added.
‘It’s indescribable,” Cheyne said of the feeling after pulling his mount up and heading back to a warm reception in the winner’s circle.
The winning jockey was also full of praise for sponsors Sun International.
“It’s super exciting for them. It’s been a fantastic day and I just want to wish them well and that it goes from strength to strength.”
The crowd had earlier been wowed by the famous flying dismount from Frankie Dettori after he claimed the Investec Cape Derby (Gr 1) aboard Edict of Nantes, which meant a Group One double for trainer Crawford.
The Klawervlei Majorca Stakes (Gr 1) was won by Nightingale while Carry On Alice proved too speedy for the opposition and claimed the Betting World Cape Flying Championship (Gr 1).