About 30 000 people are expected to converge on Kenilworth. The occasion will be the city’s party of the year, as well as an afternoon of high-class racing. Five events feature on the 12-race programme.
Millions of rand will be bet on the day, with a likely R5-million TAB pick 6 pool and a R4-million quartet pool on the Met.
Futura and Louis The King dominate the Met betting and are joint favourites at 16-10. The other 12 runners are at odds stretching from 10-1 to 150-1.
Both colts bring impressive records to the battlefield. Louis The King, the hero of Joburg horseracing fans, is one of only two winners of the SA Triple Crown. The other was Horse Chestnut, rated by many as the best horse to have raced in this country.
Louis The King won Joburg’s top race, the Sansui Summer Cup, two months ago when he beat stablemate Killua Castle in the last stride after looking down and out.
Cape Town-based Futura should have won last year’s Vodacom Durban July, but rocketed home late to finish a close third.
He captured the Champions Cup a few weeks later and claimed another major prize in the 1 600m L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate at Kenilworth three weeks ago, beating Louis The King by less than a length.
Both trainers are confident. “Futura came out of his Queen’s Plate win very, very well and there is no doubt the extra distance will be in his favour,” says Brett Crawford.
Geoff Woodruff, who also has Tellina and Killua Castle in the race, says: “Louis has improved markedly since the Queen’s Plate. He’s got so many assets because alongside his undoubted ability, there is a tough side to him that encompasses a tremendous will to win.”