Stellar final fields announced for the 2017 Sun Met


The final fields for the inaguaral 2017 Sun Met celebrated with Mumm was announced at Grandwest Casino last night. The 126th edition of the prestigious event promises to be an event not to be missed with exilhilerating horseracing, glamour, style and South Africa’s hottest entertainment.

Frankie Dettori will be at Kenilworth for South Africa’s richest-ever race day on 28 January when the legendary jockey will ride Durban July winner The Conglomerate for trainer Joey Ramsden and owners Mayfair Speculators in the R5-million Sun Met celebrated with Mumm.

Dettori, famous for his flying dismounts, will also partner the highly regarded Table Bay for Ramsden in the Investec Cape Derby and Cape Fillies Guineas winner Just Sensual for the same trainer in the $500,000 CTS Mile as well as the Dennis Drier-trained Seventh Plain in the Betting World Cape Flying Championship.

Ramsden has come close in the Sun Met on more than one occasion and The Conglomerate has an obvious chance although he will have to really respond to Dettori’s brilliance if he is to topple warm favourite Legal Eagle who also carries the colours of Markus Jooste’s Mayfair Speculators.

Justin Snaith, who has also not won the Met, has the biggest hand with three runners – last year’s Investec Cape Derby winner It’s My Turn, Baritone and exceptionally high-class filly Bela-Bela. Other notable runners include heavily backed Whisky Baron and Marinaresco, who went so close in the Durban July.

The draws will be decided after the 15 runners gallop at Kenilworth on Thursday morning.

Gulf Storm will attempt to repeat last year’s win in the R1-mllion Betting World Cape Flying Championship but he will face spirited opposition from the much-travelled Red Ray, flying filly Carry On Alice and her stable companion, Trip To Heaven, who has won his last three starts. Former French champion Stephane Pasquier will also be in action and he has been booked for Talktothestars in this race.

Grade 1 sprint winner Real Princess steps up to 1600m for the Klawervlei Majorca Stakes in which the highest rated runner is Silver Mountain, a five length winner of last season’s Cape Fillies Guineas, but badly drawn here.

The Investec Cape Derby is the fourth Grade 1 on the card and Dettori’s mount, Table Bay, is expected to face tough competition from the constantly improving Horizon who set a South Africa record when bought for R5.2 million as a yearling.

Grade 1 winner Cloth Of Cloud, a brilliant but temperamental filly who has an alarming tendency to pull herself up as she reaches the line, has been kept all season for the CTS Sprint, one of two races carrying prize money of the Rand equivalent of $500,000. Cape Guineas winner William Longsword clashes with the fillies equivalent heroine Just Sensual in the other $500,000 race, the CTS Mile. Dettori, though, will face a stern test as his mount is drawn widest of all.

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