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What can we expect from Sun Met 2021?

by Staff Reporter
04 Dec 2020 at 12:10hrs | Views
While much of the sporting calendar in 2020 was decimated by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been the gradual resumption of many top sporting events. As a result, Africa's horse racing fans will be eagerly awaiting news about how the Sun Met horse race in 2021 will go ahead.

The Sun Met is arguably Africa's most prestigious horse race, and it takes place over the border in South Africa. The race is held at the famous Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town. Officially known as The Metropolitan Mile, the Sun Met has actually been run since way back in 1883.

Traditionally, the Sun Met has been run on the last Saturday in January. 2021 will see this legendary horse race taking place on Saturday 30 January. As many as 50,000 people have attended the Sun Met in the past and many more will be taking a bet online. The guys from horsbetting had a closer look at Unibet and found that all online bookmakers like this will be fighting hard to put on the most competitive odds for this epic horse race.

Above all, the return of South Africa's richest race day will be a moment of celebration for the horse racing industry that has battled through a deeply traumatic year. With prize money of $300,000 up for grabs, it's going to be fascinating to see which runners could be the first to finish the 2,000-metre race.

Plus it's important to note that there will be 12 other races taking place on the Sun Met race card. The main Sun Met race is actually the ninth race to be run, with other top horse races like the Majorca Stakes, the Heineken Cape Stayers and the Investec Cape Derby holding plenty of interest.

Previous big name winners of the Sun Met include legendary thoroughbreds such as Politician, Wolf Power and Divine Master. This time around, all eyes will be on Summer Pudding which will be just one of the 25 entrants for this year's Sun Met. This racehorse gained a splendid victory at the WSB Gauteng Summer Cup and she is unbeaten in nine races. All of which has helped Summer Pudding win the Horse of the Year accolade, and she's just two wins short of equalling Home Guard's record of winning his first 11 races. This record has stood for nearly 50 years.

However, it's not all about Summer Pudding. Other key contenders include last year's runner-up Rainbow Bridge, while Do It Again, Golden Ducat and Malmoos are also ex-pected to perform well. The only real disappointment will be the fact that the highly-rated Got The Greenlight is going to be absent from this year's Sun Met due to lack of form at previous races at Kenilworth.

Admittedly much of Sun Met's appeal is the fact that it's one of the lifestyle events of the year. There's as much focus on the fashion as there is horse racing, and it's notable for attracting numerous celebrities and fashionistas who will all be wearing their finest cou-ture.  Each year usually features a theme that acts as a guide for some truly outlandish outfits. 2020 saw the theme of African Luxury: Visionaries being introduced and there were some interesting fashions on display at last year's Sun Met.

But 2021 could be a very different Sun Met. It's widely expected that the South African government will issue restrictions over how many people will be allowed to attend the famous horse race.  South Africa suspended its horse racing calendar in late March 2020 as a result of the pandemic lockdown.

In the following months there have been many efforts made to try and cautiously bring back crowds to the racetrack. However such moves have often had adverse effects. No-where is this better seen than when Covid cases in Mali rose after attended horse races started up again in mid November.

Other sports in South Africa have cautiously started getting underway. A series of one day internationals between the South African and English cricket teams managed to be played, although there were a number of Covid cases among the players that almost de-railed the entire project. This cricket series was held in a special 'bio-bubble' where players had to stay confined within certain areas and avoid meeting with anybody from the outside.

It would be tricky to engineer such a project in the world of horse racing. But the Sun Met organisers will be keen to ensure that the race can go ahead while following the latest social distancing protocols.

Big efforts will be made to repeat the spectacular race of the Sun Met 2020. This saw the racehorse One World winning with the jockey MJ Byleveld in the 158th running of the fa-mous horse race. It was a fine performance to win ahead of the previous winner Rainbow Bridge who was ridden by the legendary jockey Ryan Moore.

But it could be some time before we see such a well-attended sporting event as the 2020 Sun Met horse race. While there are positive noises being made about vaccinations against Covid-19, it could be years until they take effect across the wider society.

As a result, it's widely expected that if the 2021 Sun Met manages to go ahead, it will ei-ther take place behind closed doors, or feature a strictly limited number of racegoers. Everywhere from American football games in the USA to football matches in the English Premier League are starting to cautiously welcome back fans to the sporting arenas.

The sight of 2,000 fans cheering on a team in a 60,000 capacity stadium might be surre-al, but it's a positive move, and could provide an indication of what to expect if and when the Sun Met returns.

Source - Byo24News

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