Cape season concludes in style.

Whisky Baron (AUS) and Greg Cheyne win the Grade 1 Sun Met (2000m) at Kenilworth, picture Liesl King
Whisky Baron (AUS) and Greg Cheyne win the Grade 1 Sun Met (2000m) at Kenilworth, picture Liesl King

The South African Cape Summer season concluded in style on February 4th with the running of the richest race in Africa, the R5 million Grade 1 The Met over 2000m at Kenilworth, South Africa.

New sponsors Sun International in partnership with GH Mumm were extremely satisfied with the massive turnout and the quality racing on offer on the 13 race card. Wagering turnover on the day amounted to R37.6 million locally and R19.5 million from overseas, while R12.5 million was wagered on the feature Sun Met.

After his scintillating in the Grade 1 WFA L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate over 1600m, Horse Of The Year Legal Eagle had been expected to produce a quick double with victory in the Sun Met.

For Legal Eagle, however, it was déjà vu as the star galloper was overtaken late in the race by the Australian Arrowfield Stud-bred four-year-old old Whisky Baron and once again had to settle for second.

Whisky Baron (AUS), running in his first Grade 1 race and with a 2.5kg weight allowance over Legal Eagle, came with a flying finish up the stand side rail under a driving ride by Greg Cheyne to win by 1.5 lengths, giving the senior jockey his first Met victory and trainer Cape Town trainer Brett Crawford his third. Stable companion Captain America finished in third.

Cape Derby sponsors, Investec, had flown in Frankie Dettori, ambassador for the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom Downs in the UK, for the day and the champion jockey did not disappoint.
A calculated ride on Edict Of Nantes saw him cross the line first in the Grade 1 Investec Cape Derby over 2000m and Dettori obliged the eager crowd around the winner’s circle with a spectacular leap from the colt’s back.

Cape trainer Candice Bass-Robinson celebrated her first Grade 1 victory with Nightingale securing the Grade 1 Klawervlei Majorca Stakes in fine style, while champion trainer Sean Tarry’s flying mare Carry On Alice accounted for the Grade 1 Cape Flying Championship.